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February 22-28, 1948, the first jazz festival in the world, predating the Newport Festival by 6 Years and the Monterey Festival by 10. It took place in a place dedicated to classical music – the Opera! Another establishment, the Municipal Casino, since disappeared from the place Masséna, lent its Belle Époque decor to this high-profile première, and several concerts were broadcast live on radio by Radiodiffusion française. The festival featured featured three American and three European jazz orchestras. The American performing artists included Louis Armstrong & His All Stars (trombonist Jack Teagarden, pianist Earl 'Fatha' Hines, clarinetist Barney Bigard, bassist Arvell Shaw, and drummer Big Sid Catlett), Milton “Mezz” Mezzrow, Willie 'The Lion' Smith, Jimmy Skidmore, Baby Dodds and Rex Stewart. The European bands were led by Francis Burger (Switzerland), Jean Leclere (Belgium), Claude Luter (France) and Derek Neville (England) along with other big names Stéphane Grappelli & Django Reinhardt. On the final evening, at the Negresco, the party ended at dawn with a red-hot jam session after songs by Suzy Delair and Yves Montand.

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