DI­ARY DATES FOR 2018

France - - Jazz Calendar -

JAN­UARY

Saint-fons Jazz Fes­ti­val This fes­ti­val on the out­skirts of Lyon kicks off France’s jazz year with per­for­mances span­ning the last fort­night in Jan­uary at venues in Saint-fons and the city cen­tre. The 2017 event starred bop pi­anist Wil­helm Coppey with guests in­clud­ing leg­endary side­man Olivier Tru­chot and ris­ing-star sax­o­phon­ist Luigi Grasso, while fu­sion en­sem­ble Im­périal Or­phéon wowed Lyon’s Marché Gare con­cert hall. Tel: (Fr) 4 78 70 47 79 saint-fons-jazz.fr Air­port/tgv: Lyon. Tourist in­for­ma­tion: lyon-france.com

FE­BRU­ARY

Jazz Es­cale, Ouistre­ham Hop on a ferry to Nor­mandy to liven up a dull, grey Fe­bru­ary with a few days’ mu­sic (and a warm­ing drop of calvados) at the port’s Jazz Es­cale. The 2017 line-up, with the theme ‘funny in­stru­men­tals’, had a multi-cul­tural tinge, fea­tur­ing per­form­ers such as Balkan-in­flu­enced trio Bey.ler.bey and the Bul­gar­ian-flavoured sounds of Im­périal Or­phéon. The event lasts most of the se­cond week in Fe­bru­ary. Tel: (Fr) 2 31 25 51 60 www.jaz­zcaen.com/jazzescale.htm Fer­ries: Ouistre­ham (Caen), brit­tany­fer­ries.co.uk Tourist in­for­ma­tion: ouistre­ham­riv­abella.fr, nor­mandie-tourisme.fr

MARCH

Fes­ti­val In­ter­na­tionale de Jazz à Megève Add some Alpine rhythm and blues to your next win­ter sports break at the Haute-savoie re­sort’s third jazz fes­ti­val, sched­uled for the last week­end in March. The 2017 event in the Palais des Sports of­fered two days and nights of jazz, soul and fu­sion mu­sic from stars in­clud­ing French jazz-rocker Eddy Mitchell and his big band, Avishai Cohen, smoky-voiced R&B diva Macy Gray and bassist Richard Bona with his blend of African and Latin sounds. Tel: (Fr) 4 50 21 27 28 www.jaz­za­megeve.com Air­port/tgv: Cham­béry. Tourist in­for­ma­tion: megeve.com

APRIL

Fes­ti­val de Jazz Le Vi­gan When spring comes to Oc­c­i­tanie, jazz, blues and soul afi­ciona­dos are drawn to Le Vi­gan, bring­ing a wel­come splash of ex­cite­ment to this worka­day small town on the south­ern edge of the Cévennes na­tional park, not far from the bright lights of Mont­pel­lier. Trum­peter Stéphane Bel­mondo is a fre­quent vis­i­tor, and vo­cal jazz is a reg­u­lar fea­ture. Tel: (Fr) 4 66 80 30 27 jaz­za­ju­nas.fr/fes­ti­val-jazz-le-vi­gan Air­port/tgv: Mont­pel­lier, Nimes. Tourist in­for­ma­tion: touris­megard.com

MAY Jazz in Ar­les

The su­perb acous­tics of the Chapelle du Mé­jan were de­signed for cho­ral mu­sic, but since 1984 this 17th-cen­tury church has hosted an event that draws some of the genre’s top per­form­ers and bud­ding tal­ents to Provence. The eclec­tic ten-day pro­gramme in­cludes many free gigs as well as big-ticket events. The 23rd fes­ti­val runs from 16-26 May 2018. Tel: (Fr) 4 90 49 56 78 leme­jan.com/23e-jazz-in-ar­les-e-1391.html Air­port: Mar­seille, Nimes; TGV: Ar­les. Tourist in­for­ma­tion: ar­les­tourisme.com

JUNE Paris Jazz Fes­ti­val

Bring a pic­nic to the Parc Flo­ral in the Bois de Vin­cennes and join thou­sands of Parisians who flock to one of the cap­i­tal’s pret­ti­est green spa­ces ev­ery week­end from mid-june to the end of July for free concerts (you pay only the park en­trance fee). Each week­end has a dif­fer­ent theme, but you can ex­pect a whiff of Latin, a touch of funk and a fair help­ing of clas­sic jazz and soul in 2018 for the 70th an­niver­sary. paris­jaz­zfes­ti­val.fr Air­ports: Paris CDG, Paris Orly; TGV/ Eurostar: Paris Gare du Nord. Tourist in­for­ma­tion: en.paris­info.com

JULY Nice Jazz Fes­ti­val

The Riviera cap­i­tal’s fes­ti­val is 70 years old in 2018, but like a great jazz diva it hardly shows its age, and in re­cent years has wel­comed not only greats such as Chick Corea and Ge­orge Ben­son, but new tal­ents in­clud­ing Bri­tain’s Jamie Cul­lum, and gui­tar gods like Deep Pur­ple and the Gipsy Kings. Since 2011 per­for­mances have been fo­cused on the open-air Théâtre de Ver­dure off Place Masséna. If you can find a seat, the place for classy af­ter-gig drinks is the Bar du Ne­gresco in the re­sort’s posh­est ho­tel, a leg­endary jazz spot in its own right. The fes­ti­val runs from 17-21 July and co­in­cides with Jazz à Juan (14-22 July), an hour’s drive along the coast. Tel: (Fr) 8 92 68 36 22 nice­jaz­zfes­ti­val.fr Tgv/air­port: Nice. Tourist in­for­ma­tion: en.nice­tourisme.com

AU­GUST Jazz in Mar­ciac

Jazz lovers are spoilt for choice in Au­gust, with a plethora of fes­ti­vals large and small all over France, but the daddy is Jazz in Mar­ciac, in the heart of Gers. Afi­ciona­dos book early for per­for­mances by world-fa­mous mu­si­cians in the 6,000-seat mar­quee on the vil­lage sports field, but dilet­tantes who hap­pen to be pass­ing can catch dozens of free concerts, work­shops and mas­ter classes all over Mar­ciac – in­clud­ing the main square – courtesy of the Fes­ti­val Bis pro­gramme. Tel (Fr) 8 92 69 02 77 jazz­in­mar­ciac.com Air­port: Toulouse; TGV: Pau. Tourist in­for­ma­tion: tourisme-gers.com, tourism-oc­c­i­ta­nia.co.uk

SEPTEM­BER Jaz­zèbre, Per­pig­nan

It is still pic­nic weather along Oc­c­i­tanie’s Mediter­ranean coast in Septem­ber, and the fort­night-long Jaz­zèbre makes the most of the mild au­tumn weather with a se­ries of open-air per­for­mances. Fes­ti­val venues in­clude the Jardin des Plantes at Saint-cy­prien, Port-ven­dres and the Fort de Bel­le­garde at Le Perthus. Tel: (Fr) 4 68 51 13 14 jazze­bre.com Air­port/tgv: Per­pig­nan. Tourist in­for­ma­tion: per­pig­nan­tourisme.com, tourism-oc­c­i­ta­nia.co.uk

OC­TO­BER

Tour­co­ing Jazz Fes­ti­val Planètes The city of Tour­co­ing is only 12 kilo­me­tres from Gare de Lille Europe, so Lon­don­ers with just one night to spare can zip over to the jazz fes­ti­val, take in a gig by their favourite bands and be home (if feel­ing a lit­tle jaded) in time for brunch. This is a fes­ti­val for those who like their jazz in­no­va­tive and eclec­tic, as it prom­ises “concerts, cre­ations and rev­e­la­tions” by lead­ing lights of jazz and world mu­sic. Tel: (Fr) 3 20 76 98 76 tour­co­ing-jazz-fes­ti­val.com Tgv/eurostar: Lille; Air­port: Paris CDG. Tourist in­for­ma­tion: www.tour­co­ing-tourisme.com

NOVEM­BER

Fes­ti­val Jaz­zdor, Stras­bourg Jaz­zdor or­gan­is­ers say their mis­sion is to sup­port cre­ative, dis­tinc­tive Euro­pean jazz – an ap­pro­pri­ate goal for an or­gan­i­sa­tion rooted in the cap­i­tal of the EU. Its an­nual two-week fes­ti­val strad­dles bor­ders, with concerts on the Ger­man side of the Rhine as well as in town, and in­cludes up to a dozen free per­for­mances by French, Ger­man and global artists as well as mas­ter­classes, res­i­den­cies and events for young per­form­ers and fans. Hurry and you will catch the 2017 fes­ti­val, which runs from 10-24 Novem­ber. Tel: (Fr) 3 88 36 30 48 www.jaz­zdor.com Air­port/tgv: Stras­bourg. Tourist in­for­ma­tion: ot­stras­bourg.fr

DE­CEM­BER

Jazz au Fil de l’oise This fes­ti­val, scat­tered across mul­ti­ple venues just north of Paris, is host­ing a multi-na­tional cast of tal­ents in 2017 in­clud­ing Louisiana’s ever-pop­u­lar singer Hugh Colt­man – a reg­u­lar on the French jazz cir­cuit – Franco-syr­ian flautist Naïs­sam Jalal and Nor­we­gian pi­anist Bugge Wes­seltoft. Ex­pect an equally eclec­tic pro­gramme in 2018. This six-week party (from 4 Novem­ber to 16 De­cem­ber this year) is so close to the cap­i­tal that you could com­bine it with a Christ­mas shop­ping trip. TGV: Paris Gare du Nord; Air­port: Paris CDG. Tel: (Fr) 1 39 89 87 51 jaz­za­u­filde­loise.fr Tourist in­for­ma­tion: val­doise-tourisme.com

ABOVE: The Dreisam trio at the Ar­les fes­ti­val

ABOVE: Half-tim­bered houses in the Pe­tite-france dis­trict of Stras­bourg

ABOVE: Har­mon­ica player Jean-jacques Mil­teau on stage at the Nice Jazz Fes­ti­val

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