The complicated logistics and sizable costs associated with free jazz festivals have made them somewhat rarified these days. By its all-encompassing scope and scale, the Detroit Jazz Festival has served as a model for many decades now. But if you want something a bit earthier and intimate, there's really no equal for the atmosphere that envelops the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival. Now in its seventh year, this budding diamond in the rough gets its energy from the community that serves as its site location. Set on three stages along Penn Avenue, known as the city's cultural district, this festival maintains an intimate vibe despite the large crowds that tend to build over the course of each day. It is not unlikely to find artists and fans chatting on the streets before and after the shows and performances do not overlap so that it is quite easy to rotate among the stages, making sure that one never misses a downbeat.
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