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Jazz Fest Vienna

When for two weeks during the summer the stalls and boxes fill with exuberant music lovers, the annual Jazz Fest Wien has once again taken over the venerable Vienna State Opera.

Wien, Opernring 2

Wien, Opernring 2 on the map

Herbie Hancock has been here, as well as Keith Jarrett, Oscar Peterson and the “Father of Bossa Nova”, João Gilberto. And because those behind Austria’s largest jazz event are not too fussy about the boundaries of the genre, Juliette Greco and Ray Charles as well. They have all graced the stage of the Vienna State Opera, one of the first monumental structures on the city’s Ring.

It is not only the great jazz stars who appear here and the undogmatic programming of the event but also the extraordinary performance venues that create the special atmosphere of the Jazz Fest Wien. For the entire summer the square in front of City Hall is transformed into a landscape of culture and international culinary delicacies. One open-air venue is the Spittelau district-heating facility, and another festival district is the MuseumsQuartier, one of the world’s ten largest cultural complexes, whose combination of Baroque façades, modern museums, galleries, excellent food, concert halls, and courtyards act as a wonderful oasis in the middle of the city. And of course there are the city’s established jazz clubs, such as Porgy & Bess and the venerable Jazzland.