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3. Montreal Jazz Festival

It’s the mother of all music fests, and it has a Guinness World Record to prove it – named the largest in 2004.Plus, if BB King says it’s the world’s best, who are we to argue?

This super-cultural city hosts more than 3000 artists with a minimum of two million visitors from June 28 to July 7. Rock and pop musicians share the stage with jazz legends and upstarts, which is why both Aretha Franklin and She & Him will appear at this year’s 34th edition. 

montrealjazzfest.com/default-en.aspx 

4. Montreux Jazz Festival

Yes, the Swiss do swing – they even do it on boats and trains.Musicians at this festival stray from the stage to perform live on jazz-themed cruises into the countryside (smoooooth, yeah) and on trains.

The world’s second-largest jazz fest has 12 stages, 10 of which offer free shows. Also free are music workshops and fusion jazz club nights. The festival runs from July 5 to 20 and the mighty Prince is headlining, with shows running July 13 to 15. 

montreuxjazzfestival.com/2013/en

 

5. Jazzkaar

The pretty city of Tallinn probably isn’t the first place you’d expect a mega jazz tradition, but JazzKaar has been going strong for 24 years. With a focus on young artists, rather than established international names, most of this series of concerts take place in Tallinn’s purpose-built Marina Pavilion. Many of the gig venues turn into pumping boogie-woogie clubs at night.

Catch Zara McFarlane and Andy Emler Trio playing at this year’s bash, which runs from April 19 to 28. 

jazzkaar.ee/en

 

Photos: Getty


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Top 5 jazz festivals: From New Orleans to Montreal, our pick of the world's best fests
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