North Sea Jazz festival Rotterdam - location, dates, line-up

North Sea Jazz festival Rotterdam - location, dates, line-up

HAPPENING 12–14 July 2024 | The annual North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam is a very high-quality festival where jazz music from the past, present and the future is presented, under one roof, for three days. In addition to jazz, you can also expect to hear blues, soul, funk, hip hop, world, pop and much more.

North Sea Jazz Rotterdam

The first edition of the North Sea Jazz Festival took place in 1976 in The Hague. The event drew about 9000 visitors and featured performances by artists like Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz. Since 2006 the festival has been organized in a new and more spacious location: Rotterdam Ahoy. The North Sea Jazz Festival has developed into a major international event with fifteen stages. Nowadays, the event draws between sixty-five thousand and seventy-five thousand visitors a year.

Past performers at North Sea jazz Rotterdam

In the past, many great names have performed at North Sea Jazz Rotterdam. To name a few: Nat Adderley, Erykah Badu, Paul Anka, Steve Coleman, Miles Davis, Candy Dulfer, Ibrahim Ferrer, Ella Fitzgerald, Alicia Keys, Lionel Hampton, Al Jarreau, B.B. King, Wynton Marsalis, Trijntje Oosterhuis, Jamiroquai, Shirley Horn, Tania Maria, Roy Hargrove, Rachelle Ferrell and The Zawinul Syndicate.


What to expect at North Sea Jazz 2024?

Over the weekend of 12 to 14 July 2024, the NN North Sea Jazz Festival will host more than 150 performances across 16 stages in and around Rotterdam Ahoy. The complete schedule is available on the festival's website.

There are tons of artists performing at North Sea Jazz this year. But to name a few: Sting // Andre 3000 // Joss Stone // Jessie Ware // Jamie Cullum // Vulfpeck // Al di Meola // Karsu // Cory Henry // Black Pumas // Benjamin Clementine // Joshua Redman and many more.

Unique collaborations and projects

This year, the festival will feature a number of special projects and collaborations. Saxophonist Chris Potter will introduce a new band with acclaimed musicians such as pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Johnathan Blake. Together, they recently released the album 'Eagle’s Point'. Tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman will also present a new band, featuring singer Gabriella Cavassa in a leading role. This marks Redman's first collaboration with a vocalist. Bassist Avishai Cohen will perform with his new band Banda Iroko, showcasing Afro-Caribbean music supported by percussionist Abraham Rodriguez Jr. Additionally, pianist Shai Maestro will collaborate with the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw (JOC), one of the most renowned big bands in the world.

Focus on spiritual jazz

There will be special attention given to the current resurgence of spiritual jazz. Instruments like the flute and harp, characteristic of 1970s spiritual jazz, will be prominent in the music of British trumpeter Matthew Halsall. Chief Atunde Adjuah (formerly Christian Scott) will blend vocals with intense, deeply spiritual music on a self-built kora, an instrument related to the harp. Kahil El’Zabar will bring his Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, which he founded fifty years ago, to Rotterdam. One of the most surprising figures is André 3000, known primarily as a rapper from the hip-hop duo OutKast. Last year, he impressed with his album 'New Blue Sun', which features an hour and a half of flute music without any rapping or hip-hop beats.

Composition commission

Every year, the festival awards a composition commission to a promising Dutch jazz composer. This year, the honour goes to Tijn Wybenga. The premiere of Wybenga's composition will take place on Friday, 12 July, featuring the Metropole Orkest and guest artists Ambrose Akinmusire and Lizz Wright.

Open stage and Paul Acket Award

Festival-goers will also have the opportunity to showcase their own musical talents during sessions on the Open Stage. On Saturday, 13 July, the Paul Acket Award for "Artist Deserving Wider Recognition" will be presented to British keyboardist Kit Downes.

Visual arts

As in previous years, the festival will also feature a prominent selection of visual arts in various forms.

Location: Rotterdam Ahoy

Not sure how to get there? Check out our directions Rotterdam Ahoy.

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