European Jazz festivals

Many jazz aficionados do not know that there are many jazz festivals taking place each year, in various European countries and towns. They are well-organized events that attract some of the best talents in the business.

The following are some of the best and most popular European live jazz festivals showcased across the region:

Konfrontationen Nickelsdorf, Austria

This jazz festival was started in 1980 in the town of Nickelsdorf which is located near the border of Hungary. Ever since this festival started it has attracted the top talents from America, Europe and Japan, making it a virtual Mecca for improvised jazz music. This place can be described as a small village and the festival takes place outdoors. It is organized by the Nickelsdorf Jazz Gallery.

Varna Jazz Festival, Bulgaria

This festival was started in 1992 and it happens in Varna, which is a small city located in Bulgaria near the Black Sea. It is the largest Jazz festival in Bulgaria and it attracts talent mostly from around Europe. It takes place for 3 days and it is held in the courtyard of the Archeological museum. The director of this festival is a gentleman by the name of Anatoly Vapirov, who is also an accomplished saxophonist.

Ulrichsberger Kaleidophon, Austria

This town is located in Austria, near the Czech border. This jazz festival started in 1986 and has managed to become a highly acclaimed European Jazz festival. The focus of this festival is improvisation, at the same time this festival is also known for so called hybrid music. This would be jazz fused with other forms of music. The primary concerts are done at the Jazzatelier Ulrichsberg building, however there are other venues showcasing special music projects.

Vilnius Jazz Festival, Lithuania

Vilnius is a town situated in Lithuania and it started a jazz festival back in 1988. The first reason for starting this festival was an act of rebellion against the former Soviet Union. It was a way for Lithuania to show its differences with the Soviet Union. Even though this festival has political roots, it has grown to become an astounding jazz festival, attracting talent from all over the world. It is known for its highly creative and ambitious talents, stretching musical improvisation to its limits. This festival is ultimately linked to the growth of a distinctive style of jazz known as Vilnius jazz.

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