Jazz is undoubtedly a genre that has a universal appeal. There is just something about the sound of trumpets, saxophones and double bass that touches the very core of the soul. With free form improvisation, syncopated rhythms and eccentrics, it almost guarantees that no two standard jazz songs are alike. In the same sense, there are no two jazz festivals that are completely the same. If you consider yourself to be a self-respecting jazz fan, it should be in your best interest to attend some of the world’s best jazz festivals.

So get your pen and paper (or smartphone) at the ready as we list some of the most popular jazz festivals that any jazz fan should attend:

1. Festival de Jazz de Montreal – as far as sheer size go, the Montréal Jazz festival certainly stands at the top. According to the 2004 Guinness World Record, it is the largest festival of its kind in the world with more than two million people filling up the streets of Montreal. The festival takes place between the end of June up to the beginning of July. With more than 3,000 artists performing throughout the event, this is one festival any jazz lovers shouldn’t miss.

2. Newport Jazz festival – is perhaps the granddaddy of North American Jazz festivals. It is created by the jazz impresario George Wein and it is the very first annual jazz festival in America. Aside from its impressive history, the Newport Jazz festival has been a performing ground for some of the greatest jazz artists like Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, and Thelonious Monk.

3. New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival – jazz and New Orleans has a long history together – well, jazz was born in New Orleans after all. Its claim to fame can be attributed to the many sounds of the Southern United States like folk, country, jazz, gospel, Cajun and Afro-Caribbean. As far as jazz festivals go, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage is fairly unique. Some of the jazz legends that performed here are Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Sarah Vaughan, Fats Domino, Joni Mitchell, and Sonny Rollins. It’s the birthplace of jazz, you don’t have any reason to miss it.

And there you go! These are some of the most popular jazz festivals that any jazz fan shouldn’t miss. Be sure that that you add these on your travel list.