The Jazz in Vienne Festival

Dates: June 29th to July 13th 2017

For jazz music lovers, there are quite a few festivals taking place every year in France. Out of dozens, three are major, in terms of reputation, programs, performers and atmosphere: the Django Festival near Paris, the Jazz in Marciac Festival, and the Jazz in Vienne Festival. The latter is often filmed and has a reputation of its own…


It does not take place in Vienna, Austria, but in the French town of Vienne, less than 20 miles south of the city of Lyon. It is a charming place located near the Alp mountains, surrounded by hills, at the junction of the Rhone and Gère rivers; and it has ancient history and architectural elements, such as a roman amphitheater dating from the Ist century AD, which is one of the main stages for this festival. The amphiteatre’s capacity is about 13,000 people. Vienne was an early roman colony, and later in its history, it became a border city with the Holy Roman Empire.

The Roman amphitheater dating 1st century A.D.

The town is 17 minutes away by train from the city of Lyon, the 3rd biggest town in France, and trains run regularly to the end of the concerts, to get you back to Lyon if you are planning to overnight there. It is conveniently programmed and the site is charming for concerts.

The programs are of stellar quality, hosting the very best musicians in the world, in a variety of styles that range from soul to gypsy to bebop to acid jazz. Sometimes even hip hop or electronic music mix in. This year, the Festival will, for example, welcome artists such as Herbie Hancock,  Jamie Cullum, Keziah Jones, Mary J. Blige, virtuoso Bireli Lagrene with a trio that includes violin master Jean Luc Ponty, and many, many others, including international DJ and reference, Jeff Mills. Bireli is widely considered the spiritual son of Django Reinhardt.

Sylvain Luc and Bireli Lagrene performing in 2004 in Vienne

– Programs, artists and festival info and tickets available here:

– Train ticket info and packages including train and Festival discounts here:



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