This year is the 40th edition of the North Sea Jazz Festival. A world-famous three-day event that attracts people from around the world. What better way to prove this than to stand in line – across the world – at Universal Studios, chatting with the person behind you, only to discover that he is sporting an NSJ T-shirt and can’t stop enthusing about it?
Imagine, 40 years. The founder of the Festival, Paul Acket, was a jazz lover (of course) and businessman who earned a very comfortable living as a publisher of a variety of music magazines. In the ‘50s, he became an impresario, and organized several jazz concerts and his first Jazz Festival (Newport JF) in 1966. When he sold two of his magazines for a very generous sum to a larger publishing company, he invested his money in his passion and set up the first North Sea Jazz Festival in 1976.
The first Festival took place in The Hague and attracted 9,000 visitors, who came to see the approximately 300 musicians, performing on six different stages. And we’re not talking rinky-dink musicians who knew how to blow a horn.