Bonjour de Paris ...
“We’ll be going back again at the end of January, but this time we’ll be prepared, I hope."
We have been freezing here for the past week or so. Completely the opposite from last winter when I wore my winter coat perhaps twice. Today was in the low 50’s which is way more normal for winter in Paris and about 15 degrees warmer than it’s been. It’s a slow week here, no classes and no gigs. We have plans to hear some music this week. Most notably a Christmas Eve concert with a program of Vivaldi, Pachelbel, Schubert, Albinoni and various holiday music at l’Église de la Madeleine. Leslie is trying to get me out of the house more often. Typically I am glad when I make the effort to get out into the world with her, but there is always that initial inertia.
We hope that you all had a very enjoyable Thanksgiving. We had two nice Thanksgiving dinners. We had a wonderful dinner at Bobby Chitwood and Sue Hilton’s apartment on Thanksgiving day and another at the home of Paul Grayson and Joan Minor on the following Saturday. We are blessed to have these friends, and many more, here in Paris.
Leslie's 2022 Christmas tree...today... she will re-do it several times before (and perhaps after) Christmas.
Christmas on our little street, rue, Princesse.
Thanksgiving at the home of Joan Minor & Paul Grayson.
In August Leslie and I are doing a concert of gospel music with Rhoda Scott as a part of the Au Grés Festival du Jazz. We did that festival last August and we were invited to be a part of the next edition. Earlier in November we spent a week-end rehearsing for the concert with an 80 voice choir in Saverne, FR. To say the least, it was an interesting experience, but not totally unpleasant. Rather than do a blow by blow, I’ll just say that the day before the rehearsal, half of the set list was changed. After the first rehearsal we learned that Leslie and I would leading the following two rehearsals, and on Sunday morning we learned that the hotel would be closed after our noon check out. They were kind enough to give us an access code for the front door. So we had lunch, returned to the hotel and sat by ourselves in the lobby (without any lights on) while waiting for the 2:00 pm rehearsal to start. During the Sunday afternoon rehearsal a local film crew came by to do a story about our project. Leslie had to sit for an interview (in French) and I had to grin and bear it while being filmed running a rehearsal by the seat of my pants. We finished the rehearsal, walked to the train station and got back home to Paris completely exhausted. We’ll be going back again at the end of January, but this time we’ll be prepared, I hope.
Rehearsal w/ choir in Saverne with Rhoda, Leslie & Gerard.
Rehearsal w/ choir in Saverne with Rhoda, Leslie & Gerard.
The Cod House, our favorite restaurant, has closed and re-opened with a similar menu but higher prices, so we celebrated Leslie’s November birthday with Bobby & Sue at Madamador restaurant. http://madamador.fr/ The food and atmosphere there was wonderful, it was a very nice evening. So Madamador goes on the list as a good option for those occasions when a celebratory meal is in order. And if that wasn’t enough, Sue made Leslie her famous chocolate mayonnaise cake. I know that you’re thinking “chocolate and mayonnaise” but you have to trust me on this, it’s so great.
The above photos are from Leslie's birthday celebration.
1.) Gerard & Leslie at Madamador restaurant.
2.) Sue's chocolate-mayonnaise cake.
3.) Sue, une boulangère extraordinaire.
Up until this week we have had a very busy December. There were concerts with Jean-Philippe Naeder at Les Deux Magots and with our quartet with Peter Giron & Mourad Benhammou at Sunside Jazz Club. We did duos at Café Laurent and Chez Papa Jazz Club and finally a Funky Ella concert at the Cabaret Jazz Club just outside of Paris in Courbevoie. After Christmas we will finish out the year with five nights at Chez Papa Jazz Club, the last three nights (ending on New Year’s Eve) with bassist Peter Giron.
Funky Ella concert at Cabaret Jazz Club in Courbevoie, FR.
On Monday December 19th we were guests on Cathy Segal Garcia’s Noon Time Hang on Facebook. She does a two hour interview format that along with the conversation includes performance videos and audio files. It was a fun hang. We had just seen her and Gary in Paris a few weeks ago. We were honoured to be her 500th show. Thinking back on that we should have gotten something like ginsu knives as our swag for being on the 500th show. A big thank you to Cathy for the invite, we had a good time talking with her. You can watch the show here: https://www.facebook.com/cathysegalgarcia/videos/1361633687944778/.
Gary, Leslie & Cathy Segal-Garcia at Chez Papa Jazz Club.
On January 4th we start the year at the Cercle Suédois Wednesday night jazz series with our regular quartet with Peter and Mourad. https://cercle-suedois.com/fr/rivoli-mercredi-jazz-2/. Beginning in January Café Laurent will begin each week night with a solo piano set followed by two duo sets with a singer. On January 11th I will play a solo set and Leslie will join me for two sets in duo. https://www.hoteldaubusson.com/cafe-laurent On January 12 Leslie and I are at Chez Papa Jazz Club and on January 13&14 we are there with bassist Peter Giron. https://papajazzclub-paris.fr
On February 4th Funky Ella will be back at Les 2 Pianos in Paris. In May Funky Ella will travel to Munster to play the Munster Jazz Festival, in July we go to Villeneuve la Garenne and in August we will play in Saint-Jean de Maurienne. But the main news is that the band is booked for a jazz cruise in May. We’ll be out for 13 days leaving from Marseille and traveling to Gibraltar, Spain, Portugal, the Canary Islands and Morocco before returning to Marseille. https://www.tmrfrance.com/voyage/croisiere/17eme-croisiere-jazz-en-mer/160/catalogue. Brochure: https://www.tmrfrance.com/admin/uploads/sejours/160_brochure_17eme-croisiere-jazz-en-mer.pdf
The Funky Ella CD can be streamed on any number of platforms but the main ones are:
- Bandcamp: https://leslielewisgerardhagen.bandcamp.com/album/i-put-a-spell-on-you
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/6gkHqDEBeQSm8akBXBtofv
- Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/album/i-put-a-spell-on-you/1587307010?uo=4&app=itunes
- Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09H2V1Z3S
- Deezer: https://www.deezer.com/us/album/26111448
You can find out more information about our Funky Ella project at: www.funkyella.com
"I Put A Spell On You" first recording by "Funky Ella".
Here are three photos taken by Gérard Nataf at one of our nights at Chez Papa Jazz Club with Peter Giron on bass.
Our calendar is available here: https://surfcovejazz.com/tour For those of you who are in Paris or if you are planning to be in Paris in late December or January, Leslie and I are at Chez Papa Jazz Club on December 27-28 and on December 29-30 & 31 we are there with bassist Peter Giron. https://papajazzclub-paris.fr On January 4 our quartet is at the Cercle Suédois in Paris https://cercle-suedois.com/fr/rivoli-mercredi-jazz-2/ On Jan. 11 I do a solo set followed by two duo sets with Leslie at the Café Laurent. https://www.hoteldaubusson.com/cafe-laurent . On Jan. 12 we are working at Chez Papa Jazz Club as a duo and on Jan. 13-14 we are there with bassist Peter Giron. https://papajazzclub-paris.fr So now you know where and when to find us.
Thank you for giving us your time and attention, we appreciate it very much. Please check our website for news and updates. While you are there please sign up for our weekly email to learn where you can hear us. http://www.surfcovejazz.com If you have any comments feel free to contact me, I enjoy hearing from you. This email appears on our website where you may also comment. http://www.surfcovejazz.com/blog/ We hope that you are all healthy and looking forward to the holidays. As always thanks for staying in touch with us.
Until next time, Leslie et Gerard