More than just jazz, the Jozenji Street Jazz Festival is a two-day jam session of all musical genres. Bounce to the rhythms of 750 bands sharing 90 stages throughout the entire city.
- The music on offer includes jazz, rock, ska, Latin, gospel, and more
- Bands performing on the streets and at cafes on stages set up throughout the city
- Professional musicians participate alongside amateurs, with no restrictions on age or other factors
- Groups come from overseas, as far away as France and Sweden
Just follow your ears
Held on the second full weekend in September, the three-decade-old festival attracts nearly 700,000 visitors over two days.
Follow the music from stage to stage and you’ll find that pedestrian-friendly Sendai never feels too crowded because stages are spread out around the city center.
Performance schedules are available online and also handed out by volunteer staff. Check out the well-known performers headlining at the big stages in Kotodai Park. But don’t neglect to search out the intimate concerts of one or two performing locals, found in nooks and crannies of the main shopping arcades.
A place for all music lovers
You’ll find jazz music on Jozenji-dori street. Any other stage is a mix of sounds. Annual local favorites include gospel singers in the acoustic-enhancing shopping arcades and big band performances on the Kokubuncho stages.
The night concert at Kotodai Park at the end of the first day starts around 6 p.m. and could last until 8 p.m. or later depending on how many times “Encore!” is heard.