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The new year of the Ultimate Jazz Festivals Guides kicks off with a bang!

The very first guide of 2015 features more than 30 of the world’s finest jazz events happening all around the world, from New York City, Illinois, Scandinavia and Finland all the way to the Australian summer. NYC’s Winter Jazzfest is one of the highlights of the month, that also includes some of Europe’s most popular French, German and Belgian jazz fests.

In New York and the East Coast January may be a cold, winter, month, but not for those taking part in some of the hottest jazz cruises: The Jazz Cruise and the Smooth Jazz Cruise! Leaving the shores of Florida for a few days at sea with the music of some international jazz and smooth jazz stars, from rising stars to Grammy Award winners.

This month’s festivals guide also includes the exotic Panama Jazz Festival, Sydney’s Jazzgroove Summer Fiesta and Nelson Jazz & Blues Festival in New Zealand.

If this is the start of the year for jazz around the world, then 2015 is definitely going to be a great year!

Nelson Jazz Nelson Jazz & Blues Festival

 When & Where: 1-4 Jan, Nelson (New Zealand)

Performers: Boogie Train, Laura Collins and the Back Porch Band, Mike Field Jazz 5et, Trudi Wilson & Jasper



When & Where: 6 Jan, Gävle (Sweden)

Performers: Peter Getz & Stockholm Jazz Trio, Tuxedo Jazz Band, Björn Atles 5et, Camilla von Bothmer & Johan Lingvall Trio


Winter JazzfestWinter Jazzfest

When & Where: 8-10 Jan, New York City, NY (U.S.)

Performers: Ambrose Akinmusire 4et, The Cookers, Dave Douglas 5et, Walter Smith III, David Murray, Catherine Russell



Winterjazz KölnWinterJazz Köln

When & Where: 9 Jan, Köln (Germany)

Performers: Check official website


Jazzfestival Münster


Jazzfestival Münster

When & Where: 9-11 Jan, Münster (Germany)

Performers: Laura Jurd 4et, Marius Neset 7et, Jasper van’t Hof/Markus Stockhausen/Patrice Héral, Keith Tippett


River Jazz FestivalRiver Jazz Festival

When & Where: 9-24 Jan, Brussels (Belgium)

Performers: Manuel Hermia, Carte Blanche Philippe Aerts, Peter Hermans 4et, LG Jazz Collective



Smooth Jazz CruiseThe Smooth Jazz Cruise

When & Where: 11-18 Jan & 1-8 Mar, from Fort Lauderdale, FL (U.S.)

Performers: Natalie Cole, Marcus Miller, David Sandborn, Boney James, Candy Dulfer, Brian Culbertson


panama jazz festivalPanama Jazz Festival

When & Where: 12-17 Jan, Panama (Panama)

Performers: Children of Light, Benny Golson, Miguel Zenón, Pedrito Martinez, Rubén Blades


brussels jazz festivalBrussels Jazz Festival

When & Where: 13-23 Jan, Brussels (Belgium)

Performers: Cécile McLorin Salvant, Brussels Jazz Orchestra, Richard Galliano, Paolo Fresu, Jan Lundgren, Philip Catherine


JOE FestivalJOE Festival

When & Where: 15-18 Jan, Essen (Germany)

Performers: Lisbeth 4et, Marc Ducret Trio, Han Bennink Trio, Essen Jazz Orchestra



bejazz winterfestivalBeJazz Winterfestival

When & Where: 15-18 Jan, Bern (Switzerland)

Performers: Django Bates’ Béloved, Egli-Santana Group, Veronika’s Ndiigo, Lucerne Jazz Orchestra




When & Where: 15-31 Jan, Several cities around Belgium

Performers: Lollo Meier 4et & Giacomo Smith, The Belgian Gypsy Swing Five, De Cauter 4et



jazzgroove summer fiestaJazzgroove Summer Fiesta

When & Where: 16-18 Jan, Sydney (Australia)

Performers: Good’ Evans, Arrow, Ben Hauptmann Trio feat. Gian Slater, Mister Ott



Koli Jazz

Koli Jazz

When & Where: 16-18 Jan, Koli (Finland)

Performers: Miss Jones Swing Band, Soul What?, North River Ensemble, Jukka Perko Avara & Samuli Kosminen


Tucson Jazz FestivalTucson Jazz Festival

When & Where: 16-28 Jan, Tucson, AZ (U.S.)

Performers: Dianne Reeves, Joey DeFrancesco, Jimmy Cobb, Robert Glasper Experiment, The Hot Sardines, Allan Harris


Kollektiv nightsKollektiv Nights #11 (Berlin)

When & Where: 19-21 Jan, Berlin (Germany)

Performers: Das Rosa Rauschen, With Suspicious Minds, Lotus Eaters, Mullet, Tau



Bodo Jazz OpenBodø Jazz Open

When & Where: 21-24 Jan, Bodø (Norway)

Performers: Halvdan Goes Jazz!, Marilyn Mazur, Emilie Nicolas, Jan Garbarek Group


Charleston Jazz FestivalCharleston International Jazz Festival

When & Where: 22-25 Jan, Charleston, SC (U.S.)

Performers: Holy City Homecomin’ feat. Fred Wesley, Matuto+Kopaja, Vida Latina Early feat. Garage Cuban Band, CJO Chamber Ensemble


Jazztage MainzJazztage Mainz

When & Where: 23-24 Jan, Mainz (Germany)

Performers: Alex Kühn Trio, Rebecca Trescher Ensemble 11, Bartmes, FrauContraBass




When & Where: 23-24 Jan, Oslo (Norway)

Performers: Hot Club De Norvège & Remi Harris, Ulf Wakenius, Philip Catherine, Arild Andersen


South Coast JazzSouth Coast Jazz Festival

When & Where: 23-25 Jan, Shoreham-by-Sea, England (UK)

Performers: Liane Carroll, Ian Shaw, Joe Stilgoe, The Mingus Underground 8et feat. Mark Bassey, Bobby Wellins & Geoff Simkins


altitude jazz festivalAltitude Jazz Festival

When & Where: 23 Jan-7 Feb, Briançon (France)

Performers: David Enhco 4et, Hidden Orchestra, Magnetic Orchestra, Nora Kamm 4et, Clara Cahen Trio


jazz festival Dortmund


Jazzfestival der TU Dortmund

When & Where: 24 Jan, Dortmund (Germany)

Performers: Ron Spielman, Mole Trio, Play Gil Evans feat. Christian Kappe & Tobias Schütte


the jazz cruiseThe Jazz Cruise

When & Where: 25 Jan-1 Feb, frm Fort Lauderdale, FL (U.S.)

Performers: Gregory Porter, Marcus Miller, Arturo Sandoval Band, Christian McBride Trio, Tierney Sutton, Benny Golson 4et


clark college jazz festival


The Clark College Jazz Festival

When & Where: 29-31 Jan, Vancouver, WA (U.S.)

Performers: Check official website


blue flamingo festival

Blue Flamingo Festival

When & Where: 30-31 Jan, Brussels (Belgium)

Performers: Chrystel Wautier, Louvat Bros


pakkasukko blues n' jazzPakkasukko Blues n’ Jazz Festival

When & Where: 29 Jan-1 Feb, Kemi (Finland)

Performers: Tuomari Nurmio, Zoe Gilby, New Deal, Kel Elliott and Her Three Man Orchestra


vintage jazz


When & Where: 29 Jan-1 Feb, Stavanger (Norway)

Performers: Heine Totland, Georgie Fame Trio, Cluskey Hopkins Jazz Band, PS Swing Band


ylläs jazz bluesYlläs Jazz Blues

When & Where: 29 Jan-1 Feb, Ylläs (Finland)

Performers: Aleksi Tuomarila Trio, Anna Puu, Blue Stone & Dave Lindholm, Hoedown



central illinois jazz festivalCentral Illinois Jazz Festival

When & Where: 30 Jan-1 Feb, Decatur, IL (U.S.)

Performers: Bill Allred’s Classic Jazz Band, Peter & Will Anderson 5et, Dave Bennett and the Memphis Speed Kings


florida smooth jazz weekendThe Florida Smooth Jazz Weekend

When & Where: 30 Jan-1 Feb, Melbourne, FL (U.S.)

Performers: Mindi Abair, Peter White, Rick Braun, Nick Colionne, Jackiem Joyner




When & Where: 30 Jan-8 Feb, Several cities around Norway

Performers: Arild Andersen, Hayden Powell Trio, Marilyn Mazur Trio, Music For a While, Stian Westerhus & Pale Horses


berklee high school jazz festival

Berklee High School Jazz Festival

When & Where: 31 Jan, Berklee, CA (U.S.)

Performers: Check official website


hot jazz festivalLittle Hot Jazz Festival

When & Where: 31 Jan, Berlin (Germany)

Performers: Dizzybirds, Dr. Boogie, Hot Hands, Jazz Company Berlin, Jazz-Optimisten Berlin