Cuba is in Europe… and Nišville’s here to stay!

Ida Nielsen. Photo: Götz Egloff

You don´t have to go to Cuba to be part of a great jazz and funk experience. You ought to be walking from one stage to another just to watch great music being played, like in 2023´s Nišville Jazz Festival which will take place in 2024 again. The annual August festival is one of the most interesting and wide-ranging festivals in the Balkans. Several stages, with different acts and lots of musical styles, simulataneously happening for about ten days in a row!


While watching gigs and enjoying the southern European feel, you might dive into the hot vibe of Serbia in cool fortress surroundings, friendly people around you – hardly any drunken folks whatsoever, unlike in many other places of the world…

2023 saw Ex-Prince-bassist Ida Nielsen (and her Funk Bots) rocking the place in a great manner. Ida is so close with the audience, it´s amazing! Even some experimental Rage Against The Machine-like stuff, presented by the notorious Asia Dub Foundation, as well as innumerable brass bands that made the festival outstanding – the Eurocubans being another of many more highlights.

Photo: Götz Egloff

Great mood, lots of people from all over Europe… Well, yeah, it must be great to attend festivals in Cuba… It´s hot and humid in Niš too – not as humid as in Florida, it´s rather a southern Californian climate. Girls are equally beautiful, not as artificially beautiful though… You almost get a retro feeling in such oldschool surroundings, the Nišava river nearby, and all the more friendly people…

It´s a festival that isn´t even small in quantity, it´s real big in quality!

So on your vacation in, say, Budapest, Novi Sad, Belgrade, or elsewhere in the region, why not take the direction to Skopje or Thessaloniki – just don´t miss out on the Niš jazz vibe of Balkan brass, of experimental sounds and international funk… the rhythm is gonna getcha!

This year´s 30th anniversary festival will take place Aug 9th thru 18th, featuring acts like Argentinian singer Karen Souza, Cuban pianist Jany McPherson, and world-famous hip hop combo Arrested Development, among many others…

Day tickets are usually available at about 20 Euro. Check it out at:

Author: Götz Egloff

freier Journalist und Buchautor, Psychotherapeut, Literaturwissenschaftler, Amerikanistik