Event promotion for Rotterdam’s North Sea jazz festival will tell you it is the largest indoor jazz festival in the world. Yet nothing prepares you for the exhibition centre-cum-international train station of the venue: a labyrinth of plush-carpeted corridors that, when used to wander to a gig at 11pm, are lit by the kind of golden aura that masks all traces of day or night.
This is the charm of the long-running festival: an impeccably organised safe haven of jazz and pop for all tastes, from legacy acts such as saxophonist Gary Bartz and pianist Abdullah Ibrahim to next-gen stars Robert Glasper and Makaya McCraven, with crowd-pleasers Anita Baker, Janelle Monáe and even Toto all thrown in for good measure.
Read the review in the Observer.
[This review was published on 24/07/19]