North Sea Jazz Festival 2017 latest news and artist announcements
Now celebrating its 42nd Birthday, North Sea Jazz festival can be easily defined as one of the biggest and most famous music festivals in the World. But it’s much more than that: North Sea is a leader, an innovator of music of the past, present and future, in jazz, soul, blues, pop, funk and beyond.
In fact, most other jazz festivals work around who is being booked to play during the North sea weekend, and it’s the go-to destination for any serious/mega famous artist back on the road, or indeed a new alumni just hoping to hitch a ride.
North Sea prides itself on being not just jazz, but genres of all kinds, and as you walk around the massive Ahoy complex (think Heathrow x 5) with over thirteen stages and 25,000 revellers each day, you really feel the multi-cultural atmosphere and all the great things that go with it. Of course the jazz police like to have their say on some of these matters – but bringing these icons to Rotterdam whether pop stars or Blues legends; ultimately it enables a platform for aspiring jazz artists and a playground for the stars of the future.
Look at Snarky Puppy for example...5 years ago they were performing to around 1,000 people in one of the smaller outside stages. Today, they play their inimitable style to crowds of 10,000 plus in the main arena, with two Grammy awards to boot. Not forgetting their offspring the brilliant Bill Laurance who in his own right has a global following now and performs on the Friday night at the festival this year, as does Cory Henry, who performs with the Funk Apostles. Alongside Bill & Cory, there is a special collaboration of Usher and The Roots, Emeli Sande, the hot pick at the moment Yussef Kamaal, Wayne Shorter and Avishai Cohen.
Latest impressive artists inclusions feature soul icon Gladys Knight, hip-hop heroes De La Soul and an artist busily building a name for herself, Solange, announced/playing alongside other big names; George Benson, Herbie Hancock, Laura Mvula, Dianne Reeves and Christian McBride.
Sunday, very much a Blues & Soul flavour... with Erykah Badu, Jamiroquai and Van Morrison headlining. Plus other stellar performances from Mavis Staples, Robert Glasper Experiment, Cory Henry, Jacob Collier and the Metropole Orkest. Phew!
In fact, there will be 150 performances across the weekend, featuring over 1000 musicians! So whether you visit the 10,000 capacity ‘Nile Arena’, or check out new Dutch hip-hop talent outside in the Mississippi, or get intimate in the Hudson indoor theatre, OR dance outside to DJs on the Tigris stage and of course try and see every artist on your list - that’s usually the main problem for North Sea-goers - band clash!
Plus, as well as the musical feast there’s also a food festival with amazing culinary delights from all over the World to taste and fine wines, cocktails, beers and champagnes to sip.
Before you book, here's a little useful inside info/what also happens in Rotterdam around the festival… Fancy having a jam with Marcus Miller and Thundercat, or seeing Anthony Hamilton DJ? Well, this could happen because after the festival the brilliant BIRD jazz club hosts an all-night jam and club night, and the artists love nothing more than to stretch out and have a post-show party!
North Sea Jazz Festival 7-9th July at Ahoy, Rotterdam
Ticket info jazzfmawards.com
VIDEO: To whet your appetite, he's a quick look at North Sea Jazz 2016
Words PRU FIDDY