France has many Jazz festivals – among them the famous Jazz in Juan on the French riviera – but The Jazz à la Villette festival is one of the most anticipated events of the back-to-school season for musically-minded Parisians. Every concert is unique, a meeting between different artists and different shades of jazz – mixed with funk, hip-hop, blues and world music. It’s brilliantly orchestrated 21st-century jazz, mixed with rhythms and instruments from around the world.
You may wonder why Jazz is so important in France. Well, France’s love affair with jazz began when America entered the first world war in 1917 and black musicians were among the many US soldiers. From the 1920s onwards, a hugely enthusiastic minority embraced the movement and its musicians – many of whom had flocked to France to escape stifling racism back home. After the second world war American jazz musicians again returned to France, and some settled there.
The programme for this year’s edition at Parc de la Villette features the usual blend of established masters and up-and-coming talent, boppers and fusion artists, swing bands and free jazz quartets, Western and Eastern traditions. It will make you think that summer is actually not over! Also as this year’s poster states it : Jazz is not dead! Proof on the 3rd of September!
Click here for the full programme.
Note that the concerts are performed at the Parc de la Villette and other venues around Paris such as Le Cabaret Sauvage.
For more information :
Official site: www.jazzalavillette.com