Nice discovery…

20151215_121014In preparing a paper for the Hidden Musicians Conference in Milton Keynes, I came across this original programme from the 1948 Nice Jazz Festival in a family archive.

Nice is widely regarded as the first truly international jazz festival and the inaugural event featured a gathering of renowned US and European musicians, from Louis Armstrong and Rex Stewart to Claude Luter and Humphrey Lyttleton. The 1948 Festival was housed at the Opera in Nice but, in subsequent years, the event began to use the city’s amphitheatre as a main outdoor venue.


3In his book Jazz Away From Home, Chris Goddard described one experience of jazz in the amphitheatre as ‘having a rough edge to it that cuts through the warm, humid Mediterranean night like a chain saw through cheese.’

And yet, after experiencing the 1977 Festival, he stressed that ‘[the amphitheatre’s] echoes of the past seem strangely appropriate to the purposes of a European jazz festival.’ (Goddard:1979, 228)


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