Bonjour de Paris ...
Planes, trains and automobiles is the theme for this newsletter. We arrived in La Baule by train late Saturday night. Earlier that day we spent four hours traveling from Annecy to Paris (by train) and had two hours in Paris before we did the three hour train ride from Paris to La Baule. We happily arrived knowing that, although over the years we have done many, many gigs in La Baule, this year we are on vacation. This is great because it has been a crazy summer for us. By the time we return to Paris at the end of this month to work at Chez Papa Jazz Club, our travels for July and August will have covered over six thousand miles including two flights, seventeen trains and I don't know how many automobiles (Uber, taxis and rides with fellow musicians). We will have done twenty two concerts. We also will have wonderful memories of all the great people we were able to hang with and all of the new places that we got to experience and enjoy as well as memories of all of the music we made with some of our favorite musicians. We were able to schedule our work on consecutive days, usually three, and then enjoy as much as five days off in between gigs. So even though the working part was pretty intensive, we still managed some time at the pool, beach or lake as well as some time to explore new places. We had some great meals with friends and enjoyed some funny conversations, mostly about musician war stories, told over a bottle of wine or two. Peter Giron taught us a dice game, I think! I still think he was making up the rules as we played. Why? Well at one point I had something like 500 points and he had 39, but in the end, with two rolls of the dice, who do you think wins? I'm still not over that yet! Do yourself a favor and don't get into a 2:00 am dice game with him.
In early August Mike and Carol Penn came to France with their daughter Alexis and Anya their grand daughter. We had so much fun in Paris and thanks to the hospitality of Peter and Nicole Giron we continued the fun in Bordeaux. I was impressed by how the Penn's made the best use of their time in order to do and see just about everything that was possible to do and see. I have known their family for thirty five years. Leslie and I always stay with them when we are back in southern California. So this was a great treat to be able to spend some time together in France. Speaking of friends, Bobby Chitwood and Sue Hilton from Dallas came to hear our concert with Christophe and Philippe Le Van at the music festival in Annecy. https://www.imperial-annecy-festival.fr/programme-jazz-1151 We were able to have dinner together and catch the last concert of that night. Our friend Serge drove from Grenoble to Annecy to hear our concert as well.
Peter & Nicole Giron's home in Bordeaux.
Peter and Nicole Giron.
Beach in Lacanau, FR.
Dinner in Bordeaux.
The whole gang in Bordeaux. Mike, Carol & Alexis Penn, Peter and Nicole Giron, Leslie and Gerard. The bottle of wine that Nicole is holding was the same as was served at their wedding!!!
Bass before our concert in Bordeaux.
Piano in Bordeaux.
View of Annecy from Hotel.
View on our way to work in La Clusaz, FR.
Cows on the way to our gig in La Clusaz, FR.
View toward the audience at the jazz festival at the Imperial Palace.
Jazz festival at the Imperial Palace Annecy, FR.
So here we are in La Baule in yet another house that is filled with friends. We have been so blessed to have so many fun, creative and interesting people with whom to share a part of our lives. It helps to re-energize us and helps to keep me from retreating into my own head which happens too often. For the next week we have only to relax, go to the beach, get some sleep, read and enjoy some downtime without any schedules to keep.
In looking ahead to the fall we are going to be in Paris more than we have been. I will start teaching at the Paris College of Music around mid-September. Later in the year there are gigs in Geneva, Lyon and a few trips back to Annecy but so far it looks to be less travel intensive than this past spring and summer were. I would like to announce that we have been offered a few concerts in Minsk, Belarus scheduled for early next March. It is a place we thought we'd never see, but we are grateful for the opportunity to go there and make music. Something tells me that there will be some good stories coming from that trip. There are a few other things on the horizon for 2019 including a new music project that we will start working on when we return to Paris. We are both excited about the possibilities for this project and what lies ahead.
I want to say that other than being tired and a bit worn down, Leslie and I are in a very good place these days. We have been blessed with opportunities to play music and wonderful people to share these opportunities with. I can't really tell you how this has all come about. It never seems as though we are laser beam focused on our careers. In fact just the opposite, I often feel as if I barely get the minimum daily tasks completed in order to have any career. Somehow the phone rings or more and more often a text comes in and dates go on the calendar and the next thing we know, we are crazy busy. We never really know what tomorrow will bring. In fact we have learned to expect almost anything. It is definitely a bit of a wild ride, but one I really hope will continue because I love being on this ride with Leslie and I can't imagine doing anything else with anyone else. We know that we are very lucky and we are very grateful to you for your interest in our music, for coming to our gigs, for reading about the crazy things that we experience and mostly for your friendship. To those of you who respond these emails, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Here is our late August/September schedule if you are in France.
Aug. 29-30th we are a duo at at Chez Papa Jazz Club in Paris. http://www.papajazzclub-paris.fr
Aug. 31st Peter Giron joins us in trio at Chez Papa. http://www.papajazzclub-paris.fr
Sept. 1st we have a concert privé in Paris with Clément Blumen.
Sept. 7th we are a duo at Monteverdi http://www.lemonteverdi.com
Sept. 13th we are a duo at Chez Papa Jazz Club in Paris. http://www.papajazzclub-paris.fr
Sept. 14-15th we are a trio with Peter Giron at Chez Papa Jazz Club in Paris. http://www.papajazzclub-paris.fr
Sept. 21-22th we are a duo at Monteverdi http://www.lemonteverdi.com
Sept. 28-29th we are a duo at Monteverdi http://www.lemonteverdi.com
Thank you to everyone who has already downloaded "Fragile", our new recording. It is available as a download on CD Baby at this link. https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/leslielewis5
Please check our website for news and updates. While you are there please sign up for our weekly email blast to learn where you can hear us. http://www.surfcovejazz.com
Thanks for staying in touch with us.
Until next time, Leslie et Gerard
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