The current, 18th edition of the Festival will last from 30 June until 25 August 2012. As it was in the previous years, the event will revolve around world stars, premieres and jazz discoveries. As always, the Festival will be stylistically diversified. We will listen to Latin jazz, mainstream, modern jazz, fusion and smooth jazz.
International Open Air Festival Jazz at the Old Town is one of the most popular and biggest, considering the number of the public, jazz festivals in Poland. It is also an artistic representation of Warsaw as well as a great attraction for music lovers and tourists from Poland and abroad. Over 15 years of its existence, the festival had an impressive half a million of viewers of all ages. Each concert has an audience of up to 4 thousand and each edition gathers about 40 000. It is one of the oldest festivals in Poland and Europe. It lasts for 2 summer months with concerts given each Saturday in July and August.
Over the years of consecutive editions, the Festival has attracted an impressive number –more than 500 thousand – of people of various ages. A single festival concert gathers between 3,000 and 4,000 jazz music lovers. Each edition of the event attracts about 40 thousand people. With its two concert months, "Jazz at the Old Town Square" is one of the longest-lasting jazz festivals in Europe, during which the audience is given a chance to listen (free of charge) to live performances of top-class jazz music stars from Europe, the USA and Poland. For many years now, the Festival has been present in the most opinion-forming Polish media. A trailer presenting the event has been shown by BBC World and CNN, and Deutsche Welle TV created a documentary about the Festival.
The event owes its attractiveness and popularity to an original and stylistically diversified programme. It is also "a festival of premieres". It was within the Festival when Polish audience was given a chance to hear such swing era giants live for the first time, as: Scott Hamilton, Duffy Jackson and Dr. Lonnie Smith. Performances by Avishai Cohen, a modern jazz creator who appeared in Warsaw twice, were always a highlight of the Festival.
Only recently, such international jazz stars have performed within the event: David Murray, Archie Sheep, Richard Galliano, Chico Freeman, Dino Saluzzi, Tony Lakatos, Kenny Wheeler, Caecilie Norby, Jasper Van Hof, Paul Brody, Bobo Stenson and Marilyn Mazur.
The most prominent Polish artists, such as Tomasz Stańko, Michał Urbaniak, Zbigniew Namysłowski and Leszek Możdżer, as well as legendary ensembles, including The Quartet and String Connection, presented their premiere projects within the Festival.