Fast Facts

  • Location: Rotterdam: Ahoy Rotterdam and Amazon
  • Attraction Type: Jazz Festival
  • Significance: Event, Festival, Jazz, music festival, culture, films
  • Best Time to visit: 10th July to 12th July 2009
  • How to Reach: Ahoy Rotterdam can be easily approached from all parts of the city. However, it is advisable to use public transport because of the lack of parking facilities around the area. The easiest way is to take a taxi, there is a taxi stand near Ahoy. You can board the metro Erasmuslijn and stop at Zuidplein. There are more than 30 bus lines. Subways and metros have an extended night schedule because of the festival, so you do not need to necessarily worry about getting back. If you want to attend the festival for all three days, get yourself a North Sea Transport Ticket for 17.50 Euros. You can use all public transports (day and night) right from Friday morning to Sunday night.
  • Admission Ticket: Tickets will be available online through Ticketdirect Day tickets: 75 Euro
    Three Day Ticket: 179 Euro
    All in Ticket: 349 Euro
  • Nearest International Airport: Rotterdam International Airport

As George Benson takes the stage at Rotterdam this July as a part of the North Sea Jazz festival, the present will again begin to redefine the past. And who better to do it in style than Benson: rooted in the music of Wes Montgomery and Charlie Christian and yet regularly charting new avenues transcending the generic definitions and constrictions of what constitutes Jazz. Benson will present a set that is a formal tribute to Nat King Cole, accompanied and assisted by keyboard and guitar player Tito. This will be only the beginning of what will be a string of memorable performances. North Sea Jazz Festival is one of the most prestigious JazzFests in the world today, and the 2009 edition will bound to be as memorable as ever.

History of North Sea Jazz Festival
The North Sea Jazz Festival was founded by Paul Acket in Hague, a jazz fan and businessman when he sold off his successful pop magazine publishing company. The aim was to present Jazz music, particularly American Jazz and avant-garde Jazz to fans in the Netherlands and Europe. Originally, it had six stages, more than thirty hours of music presented by over 300 musicians. The event proved to be an immediate success.

Over the years, a number of changes and improvements have come over the festival, including a shift from the Hague to Rotterdam in 2006. The number of stages has gone up from six to fifteen and the artist count has increased proportionately. The festival has featured some of the greatest legends in jazz including Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Miles Davis, Benny Goodman, and Stan Getz. Even now, the festival features some of the greatest artists from across a wide variety of styles.

North Sea Jazz Festival 2009 The North Sea Jazz Festival 2009 will open on the 10th of July. It will be performed over fifteen stages and will feature as many as 400 artists. The Bird Award, as usual, will be given to the most promising Jazz musician whose talent needs recognition.

The artist list shows that the focus will be to bring all varying styles of Jazz on the table. There will be modern interpretations of traditional Jazz through the likes of George Benson, there will be Jazz vocals and neo-soul of Erykah Badu, and some Blues presented by none other than the legendary BB King. A large number of European and Dutch artists will also take the stage throughout the course of the event.

Among other artists who will perform in the North Sea Jazz Festival, Herbie Hancock with talented pianist and composer Lang Lang will be a set to watch out for. Other artists who have been confirmed to play in the festival include the living legend McCoy Tyner featuring ace guitarist Bill Frisell, and post-bop maestro John Scofield. Together, the festival will feature a wide tapestry of old school swing, blues, and gospel, Latin-jazz, fusion-jazz, jazz-rock, vocal and experimental works in Jazz. A special attraction of the festival is the section on Jazz and cinema. A large number of documentaries in tune with the various festival events will be held as a part of this section.

Where to Stay during the Festival
North Sea Jazz Festival recommends quite a few accommodation options for festival-goers interested in an overnight stay. Some of the hotels that offer special festival packages include MyCityLofts, Sleep-in De Mafkees, Stadscamping Rotterdam and Stayokay Hotel. Most of these are budget accommodations perfectly suited to the needs of Jazz fans. You can also check out the luxury and budget accommodations in Rotterdam. But make sure you book early because there is usually a great rush during festival time.

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