The North Sea Jazz Festival is an annual festival held each second weekend of July in the Netherlands. It is held at the Ahoy venue after the demolition of the Statenhal in 2006. As of November 3, 2017, the festival is officially known as the NN North Sea Jazz Festival.
The founder of the three-day festival was Paul Acket, a businessman and jazz lover who made a fortune in the 1960s with his pop magazine publishing company. When Acket sold his company in 1975, he was able to start and sponsor the North Sea Jazz Festival. Acket wanted to present American jazz and European avant-garde jazz. In 1976 the first edition of the festival took place. It was an immediate success: six stages, thirty hours of music, and 300 performances drew over 9000 visitors. Acts included Count Basie, Miles Davis, Billy Eckstine, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, James Taylor, Benny Goodman, Toots Thielemans and Sarah Vaughan among others.