The French Riviera’s Nice Jazz Festival is known for its unmissable events. However, the 2017 Nice Jazz Festival has moved from the Cimiez arenas to the centre of the city. It has also opened up to a variety of musical trends. The festival has two different atmospheres, with bands performing on two stages at once, and a total of six stages every night for five days. Over 30,000 people come to enjoy its quality line-up.
Over the years, many artists, such as Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Helen Humes, Herbie Hancock, and Miles Davis, regularly appeared at the festival. After 1994, it saw a change of emphasis, with more world music and pop. But the festival’s newest organizer, Vivian Sicnasi, has reinstated an eclectic mix of traditional and modern sounds with an international line-up; it remains “one of the Riviera‘s biggest annual events.”
Set in the vast Jardins de Cimiez (which contains a Roman amphitheatre), the event features several separate stages where groups perform simultaneously each evening, for eight days in July.
In 2011, following years of falling attendance, the festival was moved from Cimiez to the more centrally located Place Masséna. It was reported that about 30,000 spectators attended the five-day festival in 2011. The 2012 festival took place from July 8–12 and performers included Herbie Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Erykah Badu, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Gregory Porter and the Jimi Brown Experience.