Activities – NICE JAZZ FESTIVAL 2013

The next two weeks are two of the biggest musical events in the region – the Nice Jazz Festival commencing today until Friday 12 July, and the Jazz à Juan (Juan les Pins Jazz Festival) which runs Friday 12 July-Sunday 21 July.  I will write a blog later in the week regarding the JLP Jazz Festival.

The Nice Jazz Festival has a capacity for around 9,000 spectators and is situated at the central Nice location of Place Masséna gardens.  It is the second year the festival is being held at this site instead of the Cimiez location.  Both sites have their benefits and varying atmospheres, but the Masséna location is much more accessible for spectators concerning the festival layout, and also proximity and ease of public transport and carparking.  Also, the site is on flat ground so if you are attending with a baby buggy/stroller, or you have limited mobility or are wheelchair bound you can still attend and enjoy the concerts on offer.  There are designated restricted mobility entrances and viewing seats, which shows an increased awareness of accessibility for all concert attendees.

Tickets are reasonably priced ranging from 25 euros per evening for discounted tickets (families, pensioners etc) to 35 euros for a full price admission.  Children under 10 years are free. Tickets can be purchased via, Carrefour, FNAC, Géant, Intermarché and at the onsite ticket office open all day during the festival.   Artists range from Earth, Wind and Fire to Ben Harper, Maceo Parker, and George Benson.

If you are traveling to the French Riviera region, please do take the opportunity to attend either (or both!) of these festivals and support them.

A full festival programme can be viewed at


Sightseeing – ANTIBES/JUAN LES PINS (11 July 2013, free jazz concerts)

On Thursday 11 July, there will be a number of free evening jazz concerts to signal the start of Jazz à Juan (the Juan les Pins Jazz Festival).  It is a nice opportunity for some family time strolling in Antibes and Juan les Pins in the warm evening, or alfresco dining combined with listening to free jazz.

All concert locations are on flat ground (paved surfaces) so accessible if you have a baby buggy/stroller, or are wheelchair bound.

Here is the programme for the various locations in Antibes old town, and Juan les Pins:

ANTIBES: all concerts held simultaneously and are between 7pm-8pm

Les Haricots Noirs (Brazilian batucuda percussion and funk band), at the Marché Provençal and Place Nationale

Sax Appeal (jazz, soul, rhythm and blues), place Audiberti

Fanfare Trouble-Fête (marching band), Bastion St-André and Jardin d’Ilette

New Scat (traditional jazz), place de la  République by the carousel

R-SAJ Band (rocksteady ska acoustic jazz), by the Porte Marine near Café bar du Port

Gugus band (percussion, rhythm and blues, jazz, juggling and theatre, swing), corner of boulevard d’Aguillon and rue Thuret where the tourist information office is located

Tuxedo Jazz Band (New Orleans jazz), place du Safranier

JUAN LES PINS:  all concerts held simultaneously and are between 9.30pm-10.30pm

Sax Appeal (jazz, soul, rnb) and marching band, Ilot de l’Esterel

Fanfare Trouble-Fête (marching band), rue Dautheville

New Scat (traditional jazz), Ponton Courbet, boulevard Guillaumont

R-SAJ Band (rocksteady ska acoustic jazz), Ponton Hollywood, boulevard Baudoin

Gugus band (percussion, rnb, jazz, juggling, swing), promenade du Soleil where Le Ruban Bleu restaurant is located

Tuxedo Jazz Band (New Orleans jazz), avenue Guy de Maupassant

If you would like to know more about the musicians playing at the Jazz à Juan, the full festival programme and ticketing information is found at





Activities – NICE JAZZ FESTIVAL 2012

It’s not to everybody’s musical preference, but I like jazz.  I like piano jazz, bass jazz and especially saxophones and trumpets.  Thanks to John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Thelonius Monk, jazz reignites memories of some great bars I used to frequent, and a fantastic Sunday morning radio show I used to listen to while I did housework (it’s true!).

My travel ‘to-do’ list includes the New Orleans Jazz Festival.  One day I’ll get there and sit in the heat enjoying some cool jazz while eating hot jambalaya and po-boy sandwiches.  I can but dream.

In the meantime while my distant dream of New Orleans is on the backburner, the French Riviera is also a drawcard for jazz fans (Nice and Juan les Pins have major annual festivals) and this Sunday is the first evening of the Nice Jazz Festival which runs from Sunday 08 July to Thursday 12 July.

Previously held at the Roman site of Cimiez, the Nice Jazz Festival will be entertaining crowds at Place Massena and the Albert 1er gardens – a more accessible location, I believe.  The entire area is flat so perfectly accessible for families with baby buggies, or wheelchair users, and public transport links at this location are much better.

With a capacity to take a larger audience than Cimiez and lower ticket prices, the organisers are hoping the move to the new site will create a ‘relaxed picnic-style’ environment with a child-friendly play area, market stalls and plenty of green space to lounge about.  Well done to Christian Estrosi and the organisers for recognising the potential to return the festival to global standards by making it more accessible to fans (both geographically and financially).

The opening bill includes Erykah Badu, Deedee Bridgewater Eddy Louiss and Richard Galliano.  For the Nice Jazz Festival programme, click on