This is an incomplete list of notable jazz music festivals, broken down geographically. The festivals mentioned here should have at least some international recognition. This list generally excludes multi-genre festivals with only a partial focus on jazz, though such fusion festivals may be listed under individual subtopics of Jazz festivals by country.
Jazz has appeared in various festivals since the turn of the century, after the genre originated in African American communities during the late 19th and early 20th century. As jazz spread around the world, it drew on different national, regional, and local musical cultures, giving rise to many distinctive styles. New Orleans jazz began in the early 1910s, combining earlier brass band marches, French quadrilles, biguine, ragtime and blues with collective polyphonic improvisation.
In the 1930s, swing big bands, Kansas City jazz, and Gypsy jazz were the prominent styles. Bebop and cool jazz emerged in the 1940s, and the 1950s saw free jazz, hard bop, and modal jazz. Jazz-rock fusion appeared in the late 1960s and early 1970s, combining jazz improvisation with rock rhythms, electronic instruments and the highly amplified stage sound of rock, with large festivals exhibiting the sounds in response. In the early 1980s, a commercial form of jazz fusion called “smooth jazz” became successful, and other jazz styles include Afro-Cuban jazz and various fusion genres.