Saturday, February 22, 2014

What is the Best Jazz Club in Paris?

Ouch... that's so hard.  Asking me to choose which is the best Jazz Bar in Paris!!  That's like choosing the best pastry in a Paris bakery, or choosing which bakery in Paris makes the best croissant!

No, but seriously... the problem is there is so much choice... and each club has a different flavor -

do you want to be up close to the musicians in an intimate dark cavern like Caveau Des Oubliettes,

or do you want dinner and fancy tablecloths while listening to the big band sounds at Le Petit Journal de Montparnasse,  or how about hearing some young new players in the cool, modern metallic walls of the Dynamo,

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

January 7th, Benjamin Moussay and Ping Machine, live jazz in Paris

A new experiment at Paris Loves Jazz.  Often folks drop me a line and suggest meeting up in Paris to see a jazz show.  I thought I'd change the dynamic and suggest some places to meet up.  Come and check out a show and we'll talk music and share a drink and some great tunes.
You can find out more info at

Jazz Meet-up #1

Benjamin Moussay is an imaginative young piano player with a rich sensual sound and lovely melodies.  His trio is an exciting group of young players who belt out new compositions and standards.   He'll be doubling up with the fearsome power of the 13 member strong 'Ping Machine', a group playing original compositions written and orchestrated by Fred Maurin.  Ping Machine is one of the defining groups of the new jazz scene in France.  

Sunday, February 16, 2014

the history of Jazz in Paris. Why Jazz Matters to Paris!

France has a long history with jazz music.
Jazz began to become significant in France starting in the 1920s. As with Brazil (see Brazilian jazz), the French were at first concerned it was too American of an influence before "making it their own." Although in the case of the French the adjustment proved faster as by the 1930s jazz had become acceptable. An important event in that is the creation of the Quintette du Hot Club de France in 1934. This is among the most significant jazz groups in European history.[1]

Starting in the late 1940s the Le Caveau de la Huchette would become an important place for French and American jazz musicians to work. Many American jazz artists have lived in France from Sidney Bechet to Archie Shepp. These Americans would have an influence on French jazz, but at the same time French jazz had its own inspirations as well. For example Bal-musette had some influence on France's form of Gypsy jazz. In a related vein violin, and to an extent guitar, were traditionally more popular in French jazz than American. Related to that Jean-Luc Ponty and Stéphane Grappelli are among the most well-respected violinists in the history of jazz. That stated the violin is also popular in Eastern European jazz.

The Jazz Age in Paris
As a beacon of personal and artistic freedom, Paris, the "City of Light," lured thousands of American musicians, artists, and writers in the 1920s and 1930s. They crossed the Atlantic, bringing with them a unique facet of the modern age--jazz.
This Smithsonian traveling exhibition tells the amazing tale of this transcontinental cultural exportation and celebration. Organized and circulated by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), "The Jazz Age in Paris" premiered at the Smithsonian's Center for African American History and Culture in Washington. The exhibition features images, artifacts, testimonies, audio and video recordings.
In the 1920s, Paris rebounded from World War I with frenetic jubilation and artistic creativity. Contributing to the energy were the Americans, including many African Americans, who either served in the armed forces during the war and declined to return home, or who traveled to Paris to experience its cordial racial and artistic climate. Parisians openly encouraged the unique talents these new residents brought with them--especially their music. "The Jazz Age in Paris" tells the story of the American expatriates who so richly contributed to modern culture.
To experience the magic of the era, visitors will enter the exhibition through a replica of an old Montmartre boulevard. Montmartre is the region in Paris where many African Americans lived and worked, famous for its jazz clubs including Le Grand Duc and Bricktop's.
A major portion of the exhibition presents material in the form of large "scrapbook" pages, inspired by the original scrapbooks of comedian Johnny Hudgins, one of the best-known American entertainers in Paris in the 1920s. Photographs, letters, postcards, caricatures, advertisements, music manuscripts, reproduced drawings and paintings are presented, with each section addressing themes of the era, such as Old Montmartre, the Cake Walk and Ragtime music, the Parisian taste for exotic entertainment, the impact of World War I, the expatriate experience, cabaret life and café society, and changing social and artistic developments during the 1930s.

read more....

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Jazz Festivals in Paris and France

  • Banlieues Bleues in Seine-Saint-Denis
    Blues Passions Cognac in Cognac
    Europa Jazz Festival in Le Mans
    Festival International Django Reinhardt in Samois sur Seine
    Jazz à Juan in Antibes
    Jazz aux Remparts in Bayonne
    Jazz à Vienne in Vienne [2]
    Jazz en tête in Clermont-Ferrand [3]
    Jazz in Marciac in Marciac [4]
    Jazz sous les pommiers in Coutances
    Jazz sur son 31 in Toulouse
    JVC Jazz Festival in Paris
    La Villette Jazz Festival in Paris
    Les nuits du Jazz in Nantes
    Musiques Métisses in Angoulème
    Musiques de Jazz et d'ailleurs in Amiens
    Nancy Jazz Pulsations in Nancy
    Nice Jazz Festival in Nice
    Paris Jazz Festival in the Bois de Vincennes
    Reims Jazz Festival in Reims
    Sons d'hiver in Val-de-Marne
    Tourcoing Jazz Festival in Tourcoing
    Uzeste Musical in Uzeste