More than two decades ago, two friends put their heads together to come up with a way they could combine their favourite kind of music with their love of nature. It was then that the Paris Jazz Festival was born, and it has been growing from strength to strength ever since. This celebration of music takes place at the stunning Parc Floral de Vincennes, which is one of the French capital’s four botanical gardens. You can explore its 28 courtyards and pavilions while listening to the swing and syncopation of incredible jazz musicians.
The Festival is eight weeks long, covering every Saturday and Sunday from mid June to the end of July every year, and features more than 30 concerts. If you’re a fan of fusion and melodic experimentation, then you should look for the weekends that focus on funk, soul, and chanson. There’s also a part of the festival that is dedicated to hybrid music that mixes jazz with hip-hop, funk and African sounds.
Each year, the festival is based on a theme, with the 2016 edition centering on seven of the world’s leading jazz capital cities, including London, New York, Brussels, Bamako, Stockholm and Rome. It’s a very interactive celebration, where you can do more than simply listen to jazz. There are a flurry of workshops and activities for all ages to enjoy, such as the Ludophonothèque, which uses games to familiarise participants with music and nature. You can also learn how to make instruments with recyclable materials in the Cigarbox, Sanza and Panpipes classes, discover the history of the candombe drums, or explore unusual sounds and pulses in the Sound Fabrik workshops.
Once you’ve got your heart set on a particular weekend, you just need to arrange your accommodation. The Hotel du Collectionneur, located near the exquisite Parc Monceau, is elegant, modern and the perfect accompaniment to your musical adventure. Each room is decorated in a manner that respects the architectural heritage of the city of Paris. After a day of immersing yourself spectacular music, you can relax in the oriental steam room or sauna, indulge in a massage in the spa or treat yourself to a delicious meal in the Le Safran restaurant.