The annual festival attracts the big names of jazz to the Roman city of Vienne, south of Lyon in the Rhone valley. The main stage is spectacular: it’s in the great Roman amphitheatre which was built to hold 13,000 spectators and was one of the greatest urban theatres of the Roman Empire.
Today the shouts of gladiators and the rumbling of chariots is replaced by names like the McCoy Tuner trio with Ravi Coltrane as guest, Bobby McFerrin and Chick Corea, the London Community Gospel Choir and George Clinton, and Earth Wind and Fire Experience with Al McKay. There are four different stages and plenty of jazz in the towns and villages around. You can also sign up for workshops at the Academie du Jazz.
Vienne has a great last night, with music played throughout from 8.30pm to 6am the following morning when coffee and croissants are served.
More InformationFestival website
Tickets 35 euros to 45 euros, 7 nights 170 euros
Vienne Tourist Office
Where to StayGrand Hotel de la Poste
47 cours Romestang
Tel.: 00 33 (0)4 74 85 02 04
Rooms recently renovated and decorated in bright colors make this a very good valueoption. But ask for a room overlooking the courtyard which will be quieter.