Sunday, June 24, 2007

Flea fest - Jazz Festival in Paris at Les Puces de Clignancourt

now, i live near the St-Ouen flea market, so i'm biased, but i do think the Festival Jazz-musette des Puces in Paris is one of the niftiest little festivals of June, and the Picolo (above David Enhco of Enhco&Co, playing at the Picolo this afternoon) is one of my favourite dives. the Fest is very recent (first shows were in 2004) but it has old everything in the flea market.

when the flea market really got going in the 1880s, there were already little dives in the neighborhood that served wine & welcomed musicians like Django Reinhardt. but it was Malik Harullak (for whom this part of the market is named) who bought the Picolo & made it what it is today--he was an Albanian who made the place a favourite for local gypsy musicians. i first dropped by the Picolo over a decade ago, on the advice of a gypsy leather-maker who was working in the Malik of the best bits of advice i've ever had, because unless you know about it, you might just pass it by.

but violinist Didier Lockwood and guitarist Serge Malik--who met playing 'round here back in 70s--decided that a Festival would make people notice the great "manouche" (gypsy) jazz history here. yesterday, they inaugurated "Place Django Reinhardt" right in the middle of the Puces, not far from the three old bars (the Picolo, the Chope des Rosiers, & Chez Louisette) that are still here, despite the odds. And so is Serge's 82-year-old mother, who still lives across the street from the Picolo and remembers listening to Django play.

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