Jazz and moonlight. One of our all-time favorite combinations. Music aficionados of the world, take note. We’ve rounded up everything you need to know about where to go and where to stay for the best summer 2023 jazz music festivals in the world, including Newport, San Sebastian, Saratoga, Umbria and more. After nearly three years of uncertainty thanks to the pandemic, welcome to a long-awaited summer of swing.
what are the best summer jazz music festivals of 2023?
From Los Angeles to Spain, there are incredible jazz festivals all over the world this summer. And if you’re open to cultural experiences of all kinds, check out our lists of the best summer classical and opera, chamber music, pop music, and dance festivals.
Tickets are already on sale for some of these events, some are nearly sold out, and others are just about to become available. This is the perfect time to get out your calendar and start scheduling.
And yes, we know jazz is all about improvisation – but a little planning ahead definitely won’t hurt. See you under the stars.
The Best Summer Jazz Music Festivals in the World 2022
Ravinia Summer Music Festival will light up the Chicago suburbs from June 6th – September 10th, 2023. No matter what genre of music you favor, there’s no festival quite like North America’s oldest. Every year, they bring the best and biggest musical acts to the Midwest, proving themselves a reliable highlight of the season. Jazz fans, there are many events for you throughout the program, including appearances by Pat Metheny, Maria Schneider, Melody Gardot, and Billy Childs, Rufus Reid and Steve Wilson. Stay at: The Ace Hotel Chicago, Four Seasons Chicago or The Ritz-Carlton Chicago.
Don’t Miss: On June 13th, a performance from the Ravinia Steans Music Institute. Fifteen jazz fellows are invited by co-directors Billy Childs, Rufus Reid and Steve Wilson for an intensive one-week residency – and this Jazz Grandstand performance is the result of all their hard work.
2. Hollywood Bowl
Included in Hollywood Bowl’s epic summer program is The Hollywood Bowl Jazz Festival, from June 17th – 18th 2023. Curated by Kamasi Washington and Herbie Hancock, Hollywood Bowl brings the nation’s top jazz acts to the stage. Over the course of two unforgettable days, the festival will feature performances by Bell Biv DeVoe, Samara Joy, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, plus Hancock, Washington, and more. Stay at: The Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel.
Don’t Miss: Even one of these epic forty-eight hours, which will be hosted by comedian Arsenio Hall.
Rochester International Jazz Festival is looking forward to a fantastic summer, June 23rd – July 1st, 2023. The festival takes place at venues across the city, offering packed days with plenty of music to enjoy. They will feature hundreds of both up-and-coming and well-known jazz artists, including big names like Pat Metheny, Keb’ Mo’, Omara Portunado, and Bonnie Raitt. at: Dartmouth House, a charming B&B in Rochester.
Don’t Miss: The free headliner series, which will present performances from major artists like Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and St Paul & The Broken Bones free of charge.
4. Saratoga Jazz Festival
The Saratoga Jazz Festival, June 24th – 25th 2023, takes place at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) each year during the last weekend in June. Performances are split between the SPAC Amphitheater main stage, and the Charles. R Wood “Discovery Stage.” Among the artists in attendance this year are Snarky Puppy, Angelique Kidjo, Cory Wong, Bonnie Raitt, Pat Metheny, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, and many, many others. Stay at: The Saratoga Arms.
Don’t Miss: Performances at the discovery stage, which are a great way to hear the sounds of new, up-and-coming artists.
The Festival de Jazz de Vitoria-Gasteiz takes placeJuly 5th – 8th, 2023 in Vitoria, Spain. A “must-see” on the Spanish musical calendar, the event in the historic Basque region in northern Spain is part of the International Jazz Festival Organization, which brings together the most important jazz festivals in Europe and the US. Concerts are typically held in the Principal Theatre, the Mendizorroza Sports Center and the Campas de Armentia esplanade (for Jazz in the Street). This year, we’ll have the pleasure of hearing music from Maria Schneider, Brad Mehldau Threesome, The Bad Plus, Immanuel Wilkins, Kandace Spring, and many others . Stay at: The NH Canciller Ayala Hotel
Don’t miss: The final performance, which will feature Ariel Brínguez Quintet and Silvia Pérez Cruz, and which will bring these three fabulous days to a festive close.
The Umbria Jazz Festival, July 7th – 16th, 2023, has been celebrated in the medieval city of Perugia, Italy since 1973, with dozens of performances held in concert halls as well as in the streets. And if you did the math, you might have realized that this is the festival’s 50th anniversary. Perhaps that is the wonderful reason they’ve added a second, smaller festival to the calendar: a subsequent Umbria Jazz Weekend from September 14th – 17th, 2023 in Terni, Italy. Across both festivals, artists this year include Nduduzo Makhathini, Mauro Ottolini & the Ottovolante Orchestra, Moroni dice, Enrico Pieranunzi, Snarky Puppy, Brandee Younger Trio, Branford Marsalis, and many others. Stay at: Hotel Locanda della Posta .
Don’t miss: The opening night, which features an extremely special performance by Bob Dylan.
Jazz in Marciac, July 20th – August 6th, 2023 has been celebrating summer in southwestern France since 1978. For the festival’s 45th anniversary, their lineup will include Snarky Puppy, Norah Jones, Cory Wong, Tower of Power, Samara Joy, Endea Owens, Wynton Marsalis, and more. Stay at: the Hotel La Baguenaude
Don’t miss:Opening night, with MC Solaar New Big Band Project – a reissue of the French rapper’s first three albums, in orchestral format
7. San Sebastian
The San Sebastian Jazz Festival, July 21st – 25th, 2023, officially known as the Jazzaldia Jazz Festival, returns for its 57th year on the coast of the Basque region in Spain. And with its incredible program – featuring talent like Kenny Barron, Village People, Fred Wesley and the New JBS, Norah Jones, Pat Metheny, and more – it’s sure to be one of the best events of the summer. Stay at: the Hotel Maria Cristina.
Don’t miss: The final performance, from Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Joss Stone
The Newport Jazz Festival, August 4th – 6th, 2023 takes place at Fort Adams State Park and the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino. The event was established in 1954 by socialite Elaine Lorillard and promoter George Wein with the aim of bringing great jazz to the posh resort town. Short but sweet, the festival is packing an immense lineup into its 72 hours, with artists like Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Kamasi Washington, Jon Batiste, Thundercat, Herbie Hancock, Diana Krall, and Samara Joy. Stay at: The Castle Hill Inn or the Chanler Hotel at Cliff Walk.
Don’t Miss: The announcement of even more major artists who will play the fest – coming soon.
The Monterey Jazz Festival, wraps up the season, running from September 22nd – 24th, 2023 at the County Fair and Event Center in Monterey, California. Now in its 66th year, Monterey is one of the world’s longest consecutively running jazz festivals, and was founded by jazz radio broadcaster Jimmy Lyons. We are already getting excited about their lineup, which features Herbie Hancock, Thundercat, Dianne Reeves, Snarky Puppy, Samara Joy, and so many other favorites. Stay at: The Inn at Spanish Bay.
Don’t miss:A performance from the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, directed by Gerald Clayton. 20 of the most accomplished high school jazz musicians from across the country come together to form an unstoppable ensemble.
The Best Summer Jazz Festivals in the World 2023
That’s everything you need to know about where to go and where to stay for the best summer 2023 jazz music festivals in the world, including Newport, San Sebastian, Saratoga, Umbria and more. What’s at the top of your list, dear reader?