The first edition of the North Sea Jazz Festival took place in 1976 in the Nederlands Congresgebouw in The Hague. Some numbers in those early days: six venues, three hundred artists and about nine thousand visitors. In this very first festival year internationally renowned jazz legends performed, such as Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz, as well as most Dutch avant-garde artists.
In the intervening years, the North Sea Jazz Festival has developed into a major international jazz event. Over the years the numbers have increased to: fifteen venues, approximately thirteen hundred artists and a visitors number that varies between sixty-five thousand and seventy thousand every year. Since 2006 the festival has found a new and more spacious location: Ahoy Rotterdam.