Here are links & dates for jazz festivals around the world, so plan a trip around an enticing jazz venue that beckons you to kick back and enjoy live jazz at its convivial best.
Worldwide jazz festivals are also listed geographically, but without dates, in Wikipedia. Their list is admittedly incomplete, but at least there are links to festivals in all countries where you can find more info.
It’s live performances that make jazz so exciting. You can’t step twice into the same river of jazz, because its improvisatory nature makes it ever changing. No artist will ever perform the same piece the same way again. Recordings are wonderful to capture some of these moments, but the excitement of jazz is that each live performance offers infinite opportunities for spontaneous combustion into new, unexpected creations. The mind is an amazing thing; the jazz mind is even more so. Those intricately connected musical wires of the brain operate as though on steroids, combining and creating music “on the fly.” And the most amazing thing about a jazz musician is his ability to listen and to communicate with his fellow musicians during a performance. Duke Ellington really nailed it when he said:
“The most important thing I look for in a musician is if he knows how to listen.”
That same ability to listen is what an audience needs to apply at a live jazz performance, knowing you won’t pass this way again. Throw yourself into the music with the same fervor of the “listening” and performing musicians. Jazz is the essence of Now, so listen with all you’ve got, and savor the fleeting moment.