North Sea Jazz Festival – The Hague, Netherlands

A Veritable Jazz Woodstock

The wow-power of the prestigious sixteen-day Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland is condensed here into a three-day weekend whose smorgas­bord of sixteen round-the-clock concert venues and a legion of world-class artists packs the same punch.

For more than twenty-five years, the North Sea Jazz Festival has been the largest annual gathering of jazz in Europe, spanning the spectrum of blues, fusion, gospel, and soul. Proud of its slogan, “Cross­roads of the World,” more than 1,200 musicians from all over the globe love this festival, and it shows.

Legendary names and nascent and prom­ising talents perform side by side: the first year the festival featured jazz legends like Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, and Stan Getz. It has since served as the breaking ground for the introduction of new talent to European audiences, such as a young, barely known Shirley Horn.

Recent years have seen the addition of “Heats The Hague,” a free open-air jazz festival in the center of The Hague, and a Midsummer Jazz Gala, both on the eve of the festival.

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