Headliner jazz legend Herbie Hancock. Photo: Douglas Kirkland/ Nice Jazz Festival

It’s always a perfect time to visit the blue, blue Côte d’Azur, but this July offers a special treat – the return of the Nice Jazz Festival, which will take place in this ever lovely city on the coast from July 17 to 21.

With two stages and 31 artists, this week-long festival in the heart of Nice could be the perfect reason for your first, second or tenth visit to the French Riviera.

Jazz Legend, Herbie Hancock, who was featured at the first revival of this festival in 1971 with Ella Fitzgerald, Charles Mingus and Dizzy Gillespie, will headline this year’s event. Other artists this year include the Queen of Hip Hop Soul, Mary J Blige, jazz trumpeter, Hugh Masekela, and the French Jazz Trio, Spirale, just to name a few. For over forty years, the Nice Jazz Festival has never failed to give its fans the best jazz that the world has to offer. (See the website below for this year’s complete lineup.)

You might imagine the cost just for one day at the festival would be a bit formidable, but, mais non! You can get a 5-day pass for 130 Euros, an absolute steal in my book!

This year’s festival theme, Passion & Light, is meant to both honor the victims of last year’s tragedy in Nice, and to capture the mood of the music itself – playfully serious and intensely soulful.

De la Soul Live Band. Photo: DR/ Nice Jazz Festival

I will be there with my dancing shoes on and my press pass in hand, so look for updates from ground zero, or better yet, join me in Nice! Jazz and sun, the Mediterranean water, French food and wine – “who could ask for anything more.”

“The cool thing is that jazz is really a wonderful example of the great characteristics of Buddhism and great characteristics of the human spirit. Because in jazz we share, we listen to each other, we respect each other, we are creating in the moment. At our best, we’re non-judgmental.”   Herbie Hancock

Details:

Website: www.nicejazzfestival.fr

Musical Director: Sébastien Vidal

Normal Ticket Prices: 39 €/day. Advanced Tickets: 35 €/day. Reduced Ticket: 29 €/day

Mary J. Blige. Photo: DR/ Nice Jazz Festival
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Mary Kay Seales
Mary Kay Seales is a photographer, travel writer and copywriter from Seattle, Washington. She recently published her first travel book "The Beginner’s Guide to the French Riviera: Stop Dreaming & Start Packing" and is currently working on a second guide to the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State.

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