Jazz heaven on the North Sea
BB King, Snoop Dogg, Mavis Staples and Chaka Khan were all in the Dutch port of Rotterdam last year for one of the world’s outstanding music events, the North Sea Jazz Festival. It featured three days of exceptional concerts.
The 2011 festival featured the likes of Herbie Hancock, BB King, Marcus Miller, Snoop Dogg, Prince, Paul Simon, Mavis Staples, Bradford Marsalis, Buika, Seal, Tom Jones, Bradford Marsalis, Ahmad Jamal, Roy Ayers, Natalie Cole, Al Jarreau, Pharaoh Sanders, Joshua Redman, John McLaughlin, Brad Mildau, Chaka Khan, Otis Taylor, Trombone Shorty, Richard Bona and the Gotan Project.
No wonder many of the 70,000 spectators had “I’ve died and gone to music heaven” expressions on their faces…
When North Sea Jazz began in The Hague in 1976 there were six venues and 300 artists. Thirty-five years later it invites over 1,000 musicians at 13 venues to perform 150 concerts.
And yet it keeps a savvy mix of intimacy and glamour that does not preclude innovation. In July, for example, Herbie Hancock teamed up with Marcus Miller and Wayne Shorter for a unique homage to Miles Davis.