A sonic journey through present and past: Legendary Montreux Jazz Festival expands to Miami

Jon Batiste sings with Lia de Itamaracá in Brazil, 2023. Photo credit: GympROut, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Jon Batiste sings with Lia de Itamaracá in Brazil, 2023.
Jon Batiste sings with Lia de Itamaracá in Brazil, 2023. Photo credit: GympROut, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

From March 1-3, the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival will come to Miami for the first time in the festival’s nearly 60-year history.

This new addition to Miami’s vast and growing music festival scene will be hosted at the waterfront Hangar at Regatta Harbour in the picturesque Coconut Grove, located at 3385 Pan American Dr.

See performances from Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter Jon Batiste and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Daryl Hall, best known for his chart-topping 1982 single “Maneater,” alongside other appearances from Israel Houghton and Daniela Mercury.

The inaugural Montreux Jazz Festival Miami experience will take ‘Canes on a sonic journey across various genres of the present and past — including but not limited to jazz, samba, soul and rock.

Friday and Saturday performances begin at 6 p.m., while Sunday performances will start at 5 p.m. Doors open at 5 p.m. on Friday/Saturday and 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Each night, the festival will also feature an intimate jam session after the last performances where musicians come together to perform free-flowing, improvised arrangements for festival-goers. The jam session will begin at 11 p.m. on Friday and at 11:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets for the festival range from $199 for one-day general admission to $719 for one-day VIP access. The VIP packages include expedited entry, access to an exclusive lounge and specialty bars and other surprises to be revealed throughout the three-day gathering.

Availability for tickets is limited and dwindling. The festival has already sold-out the three-day access pass option, and the intimate venue holds a maximum capacity of 1,500 guests. With the recent announcement of a second performance from Batiste on Saturday in addition to his Friday appearance, tickets continue to be in high demand.

This year’s Miami expansion does not mark the first time the Montreux Jazz Festival has ventured beyond its humble beginnings in the Swiss countryside. The festival has previously expanded to other countries such as Monaco, Brazil, Singapore and Japan.

In an interview with the Miami New Times, co-chair of the inaugural Montreux Jazz Festival Miami and Miami native Jeremy Arditi said bringing the festival to the city was a “natural fit.”

“The other important part of what makes Montreux so magical is the setting. It takes place on the lakefront,” Arditi told the Miami New Times. “So being close to the water was kind of non-negotiable for us. We wanted to find a place that was close to water in a city that was synonymous with its waterfront.”

The inaugural Miami version of the festival pales in comparison to the scale of the original Montreux Jazz Festival, the second-largest annual jazz festival in the world after the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

Welcoming around 250,000 visitors over a two-week period, the original festival has welcomed a plethora of legends to its stage, including Aretha Franklin, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Prince and Santana.

Arditi told the Miami New Times event organizers wanted to hold the Miami version on a smaller scale to recreate the intimacy of the original and ensure that the festival could grow in future years in light of the inaugural year’s success.

For all the ‘Canes out there who are looking for a musical festival experience this March away from the EDM-heavy Ultra Music Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival Miami may be a perfect fit.

Tickets for the Montreux Jazz Festival Miami can be purchased via the festival’s website, https://www.montreuxjazzfestivalmiami.com/en/.