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  • Writer's pictureDavid Viney

The Monte-Carlo Jazz Festival

Updated: Jun 24

In November each year, the Principality becomes the centre of the jazz world, with some of the biggest names in the business performing in the unique setting of the Opéra Garnier. Founded in 2006 - at the behest of well-known jazz fan Jean-René Palacio - the Festival has become a real highlight of the Riviera winter season, and always promises a blend of tradition and new musical inspirations from every corner of the world, with an emphasis (above all) on creativity.

Italian Singer Mario Biondi performs in 2015
Italian Singer Mario Biondi performs in 2015

Over the years, established performers have included Herbie Hancock, Gregory Porter, Chick Corea, Diana Krall, Sonny Rollins, and Mélody Gardot. Conversely, lesser-known artists have used the event as a springboard to success; including Avishai Cohen, Raoul Midon, Roy Hargrove, and Esperanza Spalding. Perhaps best known is Ibrahim Maalouf, who made his breakthrough at the Monte-Carlo Jazz Festival in 2012; going on to perform to huge crowds at the Bercy concert arena in Paris in 2016.

The 18th Edition of the Monte-Carlo Jazz Festival - 2024

When the detailed programme for the 2024 event is available, we will add it to this page. Be patient. Sometimes it can be September before all the names are pencilled in!

As a little footnote "word to the wise", a fabulous (and relatively recent) addition to the format has been the "Before & After" (Brunch) fringe programme - performances at the Crystal Bar of the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, the American Bar of the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, and the Café de la Rotonde of the Casino Monte-Carlo. Here you can enjoy a much more intimate and up-close appreciation of 'in-residence' performers.

The 2023 Monte-Carlo Jazz Festival - Review

Under the Artistic Direction of Monte-Carlo SBM in harmonious partnership with Reno Di Matteo, the festival ran from 17 Nov - 2 Dec in 2023. The roster was a jazz connoisseur’s dream; boasting luminaries such as Ron Carter, Billy Cobham, Steve Gadd, Jan Garbarek, Macy Gray, Jeanne Added, and the return of the triumphant Alex Jaffray, following his acclaimed Master Class at the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, the previous year.

Monter Carlo Jass Festival 2023 Poster

Further down the bill, were Pianoforte (Baptiste Trotignon, Bojan Z, Eric Legnini and Pierre de Bethmann), Kareen Giock Thuram, Thomas de Pourquery, Keziah Jones, Incognito, Léon Phal, and Dominique Fils-Aimé! There was also a special jazz cinema screening of Clint Eastwood’s “Bird”, in partnership with the Audiovisual Institute of Monaco. Sit back and enjoy a sample of Steve Gadd's performance:

How to Get there

  • By train: Monaco Monte-Carlo station is located underground in the Condamine district, and passengers can reach all four corners of the Principality from one of its six access points. It is served by local trains (on the Marseille–Ventimiglia railway) and (in summer months) by fast TGV trains. Timetables here.

  • By car: Leave the A8 Autoroute at Exit 56 (direction: Monaco) if travelling towards Italy, or Exit 58 (for Roquebrune Cap Martin) if travelling away from Italy. From these exits, you can reach the centre in less than 20 minutes. Many locals instead prefer to use one of the three famous 'Corniche' roads which hug the coastline, have stunning views, and lots of hairpin bends and little tunnels.

  • Parking (important): Access to Monaco-Ville is restricted to vehicles that are registered in Monaco or to residents of the Alpes Maritimes region. So, as a tourist, you should instead park in the Parking des Pêcheurs car park, from which the centre of Monaco-Ville is just a few minutes’ walk.

  • By bus: Monaco is served, seven days a week between 7am and 9.15pm, by the seven bus routes of the Monaco Bus Company (C.A.M). The network covers all of the main tourist attractions, museums, the exotic garden, business centres, Casino, Stade Louis-II, and more. See here for timetables.


  • The official website for the Monte Carlo Jazz Festival (Société des Bains de Mer)

  • The Visit Monaco website; best for general tourist information


With stunning views, private pool, super-fast Broadband and modern air-conditioning, the villa Haute Vue is a large Holiday Rent in Montauroux; conveniently positioned for exploring both the interior of Provence and the highlights of the French Riviera. Sleeping 10/12 in 5/6 bedrooms, it is close to the beautiful perched villages of the Var and in easy reach of the beaches and sights of the sparkling Côte d'Azur.

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