The International Jazz Festival in Bansko is the oldest festival in Bulgaria of its kind. It is the biggest summer musical event in Bulgaria since 1998. The event is conducted every year between 8 and 13 August. The International Jazz Festival in Bansko is turned into one of the most important cultural events on the Balkan Peninsula and gain popularity among specialists and admirers in the whole world. Evening concerts gather thousands of people in the audience in front of the open stage on Nikola Vaptsarov square in the center of Bansko. Jazz sounds during the day in the entire festival week – from various chamber stages, situated in large complexes and restaurants.
Traditionally, styles and groups presenting the diversity of various directions in the genre participate in the program. Unforgettable concerts of great names of the global jazz scene – the saxophonists Scott Hamilton, Candy Dulfer, Igor Butman, Charlez Papazov, Benny Golson, the guitarists Philip Catherine with his band, Steve Hackett with the Hungarian band Jabe and many others, had been conducted. The residents and the guests of Bansko had had the chance to the hear the great voices of Solomon Burke, Freddy Cole, Clare Teal, Jamie Davis, Inga Lewandowski and Kasha Rodovich, Denise Jannah, Kamelia Todorova, Vasil Petrov, Yaldaz Ibrahimova, Hilda Kazasian, Petar Salchev and many, many others. During the years, more than twenty big bands have participated in the festival program – the Bulgarian National Radio Big Band and the Big Band of Vili Kazasyan. The SHAPE International Big Band, a part of the official orchestra presenting NATO, was also among them.