Jazz has a following all over the world, and some are willing to travel to hear it.

Whether you’re into the big band sound of Duke Ellington, or smooth jazz artists like Najee, there are many variations. From the 1920s to the 1940s, jazz enjoyed a golden age, especially in the U.S. and Europe. Today, it does exactly what it did all those years ago—transcend differences and encourage unity.

When it comes to jazz festivals, the following destinations don’t miss a beat.

St. Lucia

The St. Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival started as a humble gathering and blossomed into something bigger. It’s one of the most important cultural events on the island. There’s nothing like the brassy rumble of a trumpet mixed in with the sweet and gentle island breezes.

The next festival is from April 30 to May 12, 2024.


Cuba loves music and is always down for a good time. The Havana Jazz Festival holds performances in various venues, as well as jam sessions in the public squares. According to Jazz Cuba, the 2024 dates are January 21-29.


The Copenhagen Jazz Festival, which started in 1979, is one of the most prestigious in Europe. If you go, expect to hear music everywhere, from the parks to the concert halls. For ten days, you’re treated to top-tier performances from artists established and new.

The 2023 festival was well-received, and organizers are already at work planning the 2024 schedule.


Droves of jazz fans go to Canada for the festival experience. The Toronto Jazz Festival has hosted Miles Davis, Roberta Flack, and Tony Bennett in the past. This year, the Montreal Jazz Festival was held at the Quartier des Spectacles on June 29 to July 8.

Beyond these festivals, both of these Canadian cities offer plenty for tourists to see and do.

New Orleans

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival happened from April 26 to May 5, 2023. The lineup included a number of non-jazz artists like Santana, Wu Tang Clan, and Big Freedia. Aside from the electrifying music, there’s ample opportunity to patronize the local eateries and craftspeople.