The festival began in 1975 and was founded by a group of amateur jazz fans which included, most notably, Peter Lipa, a Slovak composer and singer that has a reputation as the Father of Slovak Jazz for his outstanding efforts to promote the genre in the city. Since its conception, the festival has grown from a small celebration of up and coming jazz musicians to an event that is regularly attended by world-class, established performers.
At first, Bratislava Jazz Days was restricted to bands from Czechoslovakia and neighbouring socialist states, but since that time, the event has been opened up to the whole world and has now become a truly international celebration of jazz. Tickets are bought by both local residents and visitors, as Bratislava is a popular destination for city breaks and year round European river cruises on the Danube, with ticket prices starting from 20 euro for limited edition free seating, which can be purchased online.
This year’s programme is as diverse as ever, with appearances from classical jazz musician Joshua Redman and renowned saxophonist Chris Potter. With two stages showcasing performances on each day, there will be a huge range of music available to audiences over the three days.
Now an exhibition of international and Slovak jazz alike, this year’s offering includes artists from the USA, Italy, France, Britain, and, of course, Slovakia, so attendees can gain a full picture of the contemporary jazz scene whilst experiencing the very best of Slovak jazz, as was the festival’s intention when it first came to Bratislava.
Bratislava is fantastic city to visit for a number of reasons, from its old town charm to its sophisticated dining experiences, but it is now also known for its great music scene, with the Bratislava Jazz Days festival regarded as among the best in Europe.
Image Credit: Jaime Oriz (flickr.com)