Jazz à Juan 2018 : The Ultimate Guide

The 58th Jazz à Juan Jazz Festival will be hosted from 12 to 22 July 2018 at the waterfront venue at Pinède Gould in Juan les Pins.

Jazz à Juan is one of my favourite music events here on the Côte d’Azur because the location itself is fantastic with a setting overlooking the sea, and it has an excellent track record for a yearly programme that includes both classic and contemporary musicians and bands.   It really is a special place for watching international music as the sun sets!

Jazz à Juan 2018 :  The Juan les Pins Jazz Festival

Last year, over 25,000 spectators enjoyed the concerts at Jazz à Juan with over 5,000 fans enjoying the series of mini concerts that are part of the ‘Jazz Off’ festival.   The 2017 programme featured some diverse acts and I particularly enjoyed Tom Jones, Macy Gray and Gregory Porter, Luke Elliot and TajMo, Kandace Springs, and festival regulars Buddy Guy and Jamie Cullum.

The top 3 concerts by sales in 2017 were Sting, Macy Gray/Gregory Porter and Tom Jones.

 

pinede gould juan les pins

Pinède Gould is a wonderful setting beside the sea in Juan les Pins (image credit ©Vertige Photos)

The Jazz à Juan 2018 programme in order of appearance (all concerts start 8.30pm):

raise vibration

Lenny Kravitz will be performing at Jazz à Juan 2018 in support of his 11th studio album ‘Raise Vibration’ (promo: EventsUncut)

nice rodgers juan les pins

Get your dancing shoes on because Nile Rodgers and Chic join Earth, Wind and Fire for a concert at Jazz à Juan on July 16 (photo: GHK)

  • July 17’s line-up include Carla Bruni, Tigran Hamasyan and Melody Gardot
  • Acoustic fans will enjoy the sounds of Chick Corea with John Patitucci and Dave Weckl, along with David Sanborn – all perform on 18 July starting from 8.30pm
  • Popular Belgian artist Selah Sue is joined on 19 July by Marcus Miller, Biréli Lagrene, Charlier and Sourisse
  • The 20th of July sees an appearance from the Orchestra of Cannes Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur with Youn Sun Nah, a South Korean jazz singer.  She always performs an eclectic set list and will be one to watch for surprises!  The evening sees her take the stage alongside Angelique Kidjo and Ibrahim Maalouf.

  • American multiple Grammy-winner Norah Jones is back in town for a concert on 21 July, joined for the evening line-up by Dhafer Youssef.
  • For the last evening of the programme, a free gospel concert courtesy of Como Mamas takes place on 22 July from 8.30pm (reservation necessary via the Antibes or Juan les Pins tourist offices).

FOR THE FULL PROGRAMME, GO HERE:  Juan Les Pins Jazz Festival 2018 Programme

Le Jazz Off : Jazz à Petite Pinede | Best of Du Off | Jazz at the Kiosque 

During the Festival, free mini concerts will be held from 6.30pm at Petite Pinède in Juan les Pins (Petite Pinède is located beside the main park in Juan les Pins, opposite Sweet Caffé and the Garden Beach Hotel).  The schedule and band list for the nightly sessions at Petite Pinède is here:  https://www.jazzajuan.com/fr-fr/lejazzoff/jazzàlapetitepinède.aspx

jazz du off

Jazz à Juan has a series of free mini concerts throughout the Festival including at Petite Pinède (photo: © Gilles Lefrancq)

Best of Du Off will be held on 15 July in the streets of Antibes and Juan les Pins.  It is an energetic family-friendly series of 15 free concerts, featuring bands of different styles.  The atmosphere is usually very friendly with busy restaurants and bars.  Originally, all concerts were to be performed from the late afternoon onwards however due to the fact that the French football team has made the World Cup final, the performance times have been modified. Juan les Pins concerts will now be from 11.30am to 12.30pm and Antibes concerts are from 4pm to 5pm – for the updated list of locations and band information, find out more here Best of Du Off 2018.  Last year, a friend of mine from the JZ Festival in Shanghai was here with their new Chinese jazz musicians and it was great to see some energetic and entertaining bands roaming the local area for the Du Off concerts.

From 15 to 20 July, free mini concerts will also be held in Antibes at the band rotunda at Place Nationale from 7pm each night.  The schedule and band list for the Kiosque is here:  https://www.jazzajuan.com/fr-fr/lejazzoff/jazzsurlekiosque.aspx

Festival Facilities

The venue for Jazz à Jazz is Pinède Gould, the famous pine tree grove in Juan les Pins overlooking the bay of Juan les Pins.

For visitors to the Juan les Pins Jazz Festival, you’ll find an intimate open-air concert site that is wheelchair accessible and located on flat ground, excluding the concert stands.

I have found that in previous years (including the 2017 Jazz à Juan) there have always been plenty of ushers, first aid staff and security staff.  In particular, I pay attention to staff assisting Festival goers with special needs and for first aid, so I have first-hand experience that the site support for the Festival is overall excellent.  Festival facilities include:

  • Plenty of helpful ushers, first aid staff and security staff
  • Accessible toilets are situated at the rear of the Tribunes and Gallery seating closest to Boulevard Baudoin (beside the Pinède playground)
  • A special car parking offer at the underground parking at nearby Palais des Congrès. This is valid from 15 to 22 July from 6pm to 2am; simply show your concert ticket at the parking office on level -2 and receive a special parking rate €10,50.  There is also other pay parking situated at Port Gallice, Hotel Ambassadeurs and Garden Beach Hotel, all open 24 hours.
  • Designated concert viewing area for wheelchair users
  • Press zone with Wifi, seating and tables.  Note:  The Press Zone is not located in close proximity to the stage but you have a partial view of the stage from there.   The Festival press team are always readily available daily during the Festival.
  • A souvenir boutique selling merchandise such as postcards, caps, t-shirts, mugs, beach bags and Panama hats
  • Food and drink outlets each side of the stage selling water, soft drinks, snacks, draught beer and Champagne.  Note:  Last year, there was some slow service and Champagne did run out after 2 hours on some evenings as well as a few bar staff who were not skilled at opening or serving Champagne, so I hope this is remedied for the 2018 Festival.
  • Les Jardins du Jazz is a VIP experience at neighbouring Plage Ambassadeur.  Must have a minumum of 10 per table and includes a personalized welcome from 7pm, dinner at the beach (from 7pm to 10.30pm) and private box seats enabling you to see the concert of your choice as a privileged guest.
stands jazz a juan

Map of seating and layout at Jazz à Juan / Juan les Pins Jazz Festival 2018 (map: Jazz à Juan)

Buying tickets for Jazz à Juan 2018

As per the map above, if you want to sit directly in front of the stage and enjoy the main acts less than 20 metres away, the optimal tickets to buy are Carré d’Or.  The next best seats are Category 1. 

The Juan les Pins Jazz Festival offer a variety of tickets with different price brackets including Category 4, Category 3, Category 2, Category 1 and Carré d’Or.

Last year, 64% of sales were made online across 5 continents and 30 countries confirming the Festival’s international reputation (stat:  Jazz à Juan Press Office).

There are reduced ticket prices for Categories 3 and 4 for people under 18 years of age, students and job seekers; these tickets are not sold online, to obtain one of these reduced tickets contact Laurence via email:  jazzajuan@antibesjuanlespins.com  There are also combined ticket deals where you receive 25% discount for buying tickets for 2 concerts.

Ticket Notes: The ‘Standing Only’ (Zone Debout) tickets are not sold until Category 4 tickets are sold out.  The Festival has some hugely popular acts this year – particularly Lenny Kravitz, Nile Rodgers/Chic/Earth, Wind & Fire, Selah Sue and Norah Jones – so get your tickets far in advance to avoid disappointment!

To buy your tickets for the 2018 Festival, go to the official website www.jazzajuan.com

To close this guide I leave you with Lenny Kravitz’s comments:  “I’m not a rock star, I’m not a sex symbol, I’m a musician who has things to say.”  I’m looking forward to a repertoire of great songs and entertainment for Jazz à Juan 2018!

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Jazz à Juan 2017 Review

The 57th Jazz à Juan Jazz Festival was held from 15 to 23 July 2017 at the wonderful venue at Pinède Gould by the seaside in Juan les Pins; it is a fantastic annual Festival for discovering classic and contemporary jazz, soul and blues singers and musicians.

pinede gould juan les pins

Pinède Gould is a wonderful setting beside the sea in Juan les Pins (image credit ©Vertige Photos)

This year, the Festival programme featured a broad range of artists including Eli Degibri Quartet, Buddy Guy, Luke Elliot, TajMo, Tom Jones,  Macy Gray, Gregory Porter, Sting,  Robert Glasper Experiment, Kandance Springs and Jamie Cullum.

Official Jazz à Juan 2017 Festival poster (www.jazzajuan.com)

Jazz à Juan 2017 :  Juan Les Pins Jazz Festival 

The official start date of the Festival was delayed one day due to solidarity for the 2016 Nice attack, however it did not dampen an eclectic and interesting programme.   More than 23,000 spectators enjoyed the Festival this year plus at least 5000 attendees of the ‘Off’ Festival.

The opening days featured excellent performances from Eli Degibri Quartet, French Quarter, Johnny Gallagher & The Boxtie Band and Festival stalwart Buddy Guy.

buddy guy jazz juan

Buddy Guy (©Josh Cheuse)

On Monday 17 July, Luke Elliot brought his charm and musical talent to the stage and I quite thought he looked so much like American musician John Mayer!   TajMo (Taj Mahal and Keb ‘Mo) kept the adrenaline high with groovy blues and some comical banter.

tajMo juan les pins

TajMo (©Jay Blakesberg)

Lastly, Sir Tom Jones took to the stage to deliver a set filled with classic and new hits.  His energy captivated the audience with hits such as ‘Delilah’, ‘What’s New, Pussycat?’, ‘Sex Bomb’ and the crowd pleasing hit, ‘It’s Not Unusual’.   His magnificent baritone voice was outstanding on ‘Mama Told Me Not To Come’ and gave much credential to his showmanship and talent where he has sold more than 100 million albums throughout his career for six decades.

tom jones jazz a juan

Sir Tom Jones was a iconic showman at Jazz à Juan 2017 (©DR)

As the sun set, Macy Gray rose to the occasion at Pinède Gould on Wednesday 19 July with an exceptional backing band.   She has an individualistic stage persona and her on-stage banter convinced the crowd to stand and dance toward the end of her set as she smoothly performed songs such as ‘When I See You’ and ‘I Try.’   One of the best renditions of the evening was her cover of Radiohead’s ‘Creep’.   Grammy-winning soul/jazz sensation Gregory Porter was a fine second act with enlivening vocals and great stage presence.

macy gray jazz a juan

MacyGray (©Giuliano Bekor)

The following night, the sold-out evening of Hiromi Duo and Sting was much anticipated by Festival goers.  After acclaimed solo and trio projects, Hiromi returns with a new tour and soon-to-be recorded album with the Colombian harpist Edmar Castaneda and their onstage musicality and chemistry was evident.  Sting was a veritable crowd pleaser, and at his very best belting out Police hits.

On Saturday 22 July, the first act Kandace Springs was a warming introduction to a great night.  Kandace has a honeyed voice and without taking anything away from her soulful performance on the piano, she reminded me of a laidback mix of Alicia Keys and Erykah Badu.  Afterwards, the beautiful Anoushka Shankar was an atmospheric interlude to the evening with the mesmorising sound of the sitar.  Personally, I’ve never listened to much sitar music but I found it enlightening, entertaining and more musically diverse than I expected.

Up next was Jamie Cullum – energetic, cheeky and a very talented pianist.   Jamie has a knack for making music that seems equally at home on a Sunday morning chilling out such as ‘These Are The Days’ or an enlivening dance to one of his tracks such as ‘Don’t Stop The Music ‘.   I particularly loved his ‘All at Sea’ one of my favourite songs of his and his cover version of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’ which he made his own.

The closing night of the Festival featured a free performance by the legendary Blind Boys of Alabama with uplifting vocals that have made them world famous.

The top 3 concerts by sales in 2017 were Sting, Macy Gray/Gregory Porter and Tom Jones.

Best of Du Off | Jazz en Scene | Kiosque à Musique

During the Festival, various nightly concerts were held at Petite Pinède in Juan les Pins, in Antibes at the newly inaugurated rotunda at Place Nationale and in the streets of Antibes and Juan les Pins.

Best of Du Off was hosted on Saturday 15 July with free jazz bands from 7pm in the streets – I saw around 6 bands of different styles in Juan les Pins over the course of a few hours.  The atmosphere was friendly with busy restaurants and bars.  That night was also a public fireworks display in the bay of Juan les Pins so it was an excellent family-friendly evening.

Juan les Pins fireworks 15 July 2017 (image: Antibes JLP Ville)

The nightly concerts included acts such as Buckshot Gala, Les Haricots Noirs Brasil Band Social Club, Good Times Foundation, JZ Music All Stars (in partnership with the Festival de Jazz de Shanghai) and Alexandra Miller & Metromantic.

Festival Facilities

The entire Festival site is wheelchair accessible and the staff at the Festival this year were helpful and informative.  There were plenty of ushers, first aid staff and security staff.  I noticed staff assisting Festival goers with special needs and for first aid, so the site support was excellent.  Festival facilities include:

  • Food and drink outlets on either side of the stage selling draught beer, soft drinks, water, Champagne and snacks
  • First aid staff
  • Les Jardins du Jazz is a VIP experience at Plage Ambassadeur with a personalized welcome from 7pm, dinner at the beach (from 7pm to 10.30pm) and private box seats enabling you to see the concert of your choice as a privileged guest
  • Onsite Press Village with Wifi, seating and tables.  Note:  The Press Village is not located in close proximity to the stage but you can see the stage from there.   The Festival press team were readily available daily during the Festival.
  • Boutique for souvenirs such as Panama hats, mugs, beach bags, t-shirts, caps and postcards
  • Accessible toilets are situated at the rear of the Tribunes and Gallery seating closest to Boulevard Baudoin (next to the Pinède playground)
  • Special car parking offer at the underground parking at the Palais des Congrès – you simply showed your ticket and received a special parking rate €10,50 from 6pm to 2am

Les Jardins du Jazz at Juan les Pins Jazz Festival (image copyright: Gilles Lefrancq)

Tickets for Jazz à Juan 2018

This year, 64% of sales were made online across 5 continents and 30 countries confirming the Festival’s international reputation (stat:  Jazz à Juan Press Office).   The Juan les Pins Jazz Festival offer a range of tickets for varied seating options including Category 4, Category 3, Category 2, Category 1 and Carré d’Or.

If you want to sit directly in front of the stage and main acts less than 20 metres away, the optimal tickets to buy are Carré d’Or; next best seats are Category 1.

It’s important to note that ‘Standing Only’ (Zone Debout) tickets are not sold until Category 4 tickets are exhausted.

There are reduced ticket prices for Categories 3 and 4 for people under 18 years of age, students and job seekers, and also combined ticket deals where you receive 25% discount for buying tickets for 2 concerts.

The dates for Jazz à Juan 2018 are 14 to 22 July 2018.   To buy tickets for the 2018 Festival, refer to the official website www.jazzajuan.com

Disclosure:  Rebecca Whitlocke was honoured to be an Accredited Press Guest at Jazz à Juan 2017 , however all opinions given in this review are honest and unedited.