The North Sea Jazz Festival is an annual jazz festival held each second weekend of July in Den Haag, The Netherlands.

Founder of the three-day festival was Paul Acket, a businessman and jazz lover who had made fortune in the sixties with his pop magazine publishing company. When Acket sold his company in 1975, he was able to start up and sponsor the North Sea Jazz Festival. Acket desired to present a great diversity of jazz music to the public, from American jazz to European avant-garde. In 1976 the first edition of the North Sea Jazz Festival took place. It was an immediate success: six stages, thirty hours of music and 300 performances drew over 9000 visitors. Many great jazz legends were presented, like Sara Vaughan, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz.

Since 1985 the Bird Awards are presented at the North Sea Jazz Festival. Originally the prize was awarded in three categories: the Bird Award International, the Bird Award Netherlands and the Bird Award Special Appreciation. From 2001, however, the prize is only given in one category, and is especially meant for beginning artists that deserve more recognition. Also, from 1998 onward the Edison Jazz Awards are presented at the festival. The Edison is the award of the Dutch music industry for albums of a special quality.

In 1990 two sub-festivals were introduced: “North Sea Jazz Heats”, a free festival performed in pubs throughout Den Haag, and the exclusive “Midsummer Jazz Gala”. Both take place on the evening before the actual festival. Artists that have performed at the Midsummer Jazz Gala include Tony Bennett, Herbie Hancock and Oscar Peterson.

Nowadays the festival has grown to fifteen stages, 1200 artists and about 23.000 visitors a day. The festival is known worldwide for the many music styles it presents, from traditional New Orleans jazz to swing, bebop, fusion, blues, gospel, funk, soul and drum n bass.

General information on the 28th edition of the North Sea Jazz Festival, July 2003
Lifted from their website, www.northseajazz.nl.

Dates: July 11, 12 and 13, 2003.
Time: Friday and Saturday 6.00 p.m.- 2.00 a.m., Sunday 4.00 p.m.- 12.00 doors open one hour before starting time.
Venue: Netherlands Congress Centre, Churchillplein 10, The Hague, Holland.

Short Program:

Not yet available.

Ticket sales: The ticket sales start on Saturday 17 May, three-day tickets can be pre-ordered at www.northseajazz.nl.

Prices:
- Day Tickets and 3-day Tickets (€ 55,-/€ 135,-)
- Supplementary Tickets (€ 10 - € 15,- per concert)
- all-in festival pass (includes supplementary tickets as well): can be obtained till July 24, not available yet.

Public transport: from Den Haag Central Station: tram 7 and bus 4/14
Car parking: parking lots near Congress Centre is limited, visitors are advised to come by public transport.

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