Nice Jazz Festival
The Nice Jazz Festival, held annually since 1948 on the French Riviera in Nice has been graced by many an influential artist. At the inaugural festival, Louis Armstrong and his All Stars headlined and Suzy Delair sang C'est Si Bon for the very first time to a cabaret where Louis then ended his evening. Others have included Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Helen Humes, Herbie Hancock, and Miles Davis.
Nice's jazz festival offers a wide-ranging mix of jazz, from gospel and blues to urban funk, and from African roots to experimental sounds. Set in the immense Jardins de Cimiez (containing a Roman amphitheatre), the event features several separate stages where groups perform simultaneously each evening for eight days in July. 2012 was the Festival's first year in a new venue, which aimed to double the capacity of the Festival venues to over 9,500. The two principal sites are the arena in the gardens of Albert 1st, with a capacity of 3,000, and the gardens next to Place Masséna itself which can accommodate 6,500. This will leave to a distinct change of ambience - from the secluded olive groves of the Arènes de Cimiez to the broad, palm-lined boulevards of downtown Nice, thus drawing in around 45,000 visitors over the course of the week.