Tbilisi Jazz Festival

Exploring The Rich Musical Tapestry Of Georgia's Most Celebrated Jazz Festival
Cover image © Tbilisi Jazz Festival

The Tbilisi Jazz Festival stands as a prominent cultural event in Georgia, showcasing a rich blend of jazz, blues, and soul. Held annually in Tbilisi, this festival has been a recurring celebration of music since its inception in 1978, evolving into one of the country's main jazz events.

Historical Significance

The festival's roots trace back to the Soviet era, starting as the "All-Soviet Jazz Festival" in 1978. It became a beacon for jazz enthusiasts, attracting 23 bands from 13 Soviet cities and an audience of nearly 30,000. The subsequent editions in 1986 and 1989 further solidified its significance. After a dormant period post-Soviet Union, the festival was revived in 2000 and has since been an annual fixture, diversifying its repertoire to include blues, soul, and rock.

Venue And Timing

The traditional venue for the festival is the Tbilisi Concert Hall, and it typically takes place in October. However, the festival has also utilized various city venues, including cinemas and conservatories, enhancing its accessibility and reach.

The Experience

The Tbilisi Jazz Festival offers more than just musical performances. It's an electrifying atmosphere that brings together jazz enthusiasts from across the globe. The festival is also a culinary journey, featuring local Georgian cuisine alongside international dishes, complemented by an array of cocktails, beer, and wine. Visitors are advised to book tickets in advance, arrive early, and dress formally to fully immerse themselves in the experience.

Past And Present Lineups

Over the years, the festival has hosted legendary artists like Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and more recent stars like Gregory Porter and Marcus Miller. The mix of local and international musicians highlights both established and emerging talents in the jazz world. The 2023 lineup included performances by the JAZZ/TAKES SUPERGROUP, ANTONIO FARAO’ TRIO, and STANLEY CLARKE N’4Ever.

Culinary Delights

A highlight of the festival is Georgian cuisine, offering dishes like khachapuri, khinkali, and lobio. The festival is also an opportunity to taste Georgian wines and beers, known for their unique flavors.

Practical Tips

To enhance the festival experience, attendees should plan their schedule, bring cash for purchases, stay hydrated, and respect the formal nature of the event. Exploring Tbilisi's sights, like the Old Town and Narikala Fortress, can further enrich the visit.

Narikala Fortress Narikala Fortress Sololaki District Sololaki District


The Tbilisi Jazz Festival is a unique cultural experience that transcends music, offering a blend of culinary delights, historical depth, and an atmosphere of shared passion for jazz. It's a testament to the enduring appeal of jazz and its ability to bring people together from all corners of the world.

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