Bonjour de Paris ...
I have very good news to report. Yesterday Leslie and I joined our immigration attorney at the Prefecture de Police in Paris and we received a document from them that is a temporary Carte de Séjour. This means that we have been given another three years of legal work status in France! A Carte de Séjour in its’ permanent form is much like a driver’s license, so once they have made ours, we will need to make another trip to the office of the Prefecture de Police to receive them. In the meantime we both have a temporary version which allows us to continue working. We had twenty-one days before our current cards expire, so needless to say we had a few sleepless nights while this situation got sorted out.
In the last newsletter I included a link to a video on Youtube which is a video montage of the Sunny-Live Jazz Festival concert. The link had a flaw so if you are still interested try this http://youtu.be/AYRlqvWtjkw
Sunny-Live Jazz Festival-Sunset Jazz Club, Paris
Sunny-Live Jazz Festival-Sunset Jazz Club, Paris
On July fourth we did a jazz festival concert in Gréasque, FR. http://jazzsolmineur.jimdo.com It was during a time when France experienced a very unusual streak of very, very warm weather. The day started with the power going out in our apt. as we were getting ready to leave. Oppressive heat, no fans, no lights in the bathroom, no way to make a little breakfast, you get the idea. Got to the train station and the drummer had given us the wrong train number, mass confusion ensued partly because of the large number of summertime travelers in the station, etc. Once we got on the correct train we were about thirty minutes into the trip when the air conditioner for our car broke. Once again oppressive heat for the rest of the trip, but only for our car. The rest of the train was booked to capacity so there was no way to change seats to be in a cooler environment. Every so often I would go into another car and seethe as I watched people bundle up because of the A/C. After about three hours on the train we finally get to Gréasque. The car that was used to pick us up at the train station has no A/C! After thirty years of driving in California I didn’t know that was even possible! From then on things started to pick up. The people at the festival couldn’t have been more friendly and helpful. The hotel suite, yes I said suite, was very beautiful not to mention comfortable and the performance venue was beautiful. It was an outdoor concert in a beautiful setting near a church. Thankfully the temperature had cooled down by evening. There was a Steinway grand piano for me to play and had a very good sound system with an even better sound engineer. The show went great and the audience brought us back for an encore. Leslie called “Summertime”. We have performed that tune so many times over the years that we can pretty much go anywhere with it as far as musical style and interpretation is concerned. Leslie had brought us to a beautiful ending that was simply solo voice with no instrumental accompaniment. During a very quiet and delicate moment in the ending, the church bells began to ring. The funny thing was that the pitches were in the key we were in so they harmonized with Leslie’s voice. We ended the night with champagne and dessert provided by the festival producer. But the best part was that our friends Mike and Carol Penn from Orange County happened to be vacationing nearby and drove to Gréasque to attend the concert. We would later have a very nice hang with them in Paris as well. I have to say that those opportunities to see friends from the states in France are some of our happiest moments.
Sound check for Festival de Jazz in Gréasque, FR
Hotel suite in Gréasque, FR.
We have been making weekly trips to La Baule, for gigs at L’Hermitage and the Hotel Royal. We will be in La Baule for a few weeks in August and will have an opportunity to spend our days off at the summer home of a friend from Paris. We are both very ready for some afternoons spent at the beach.
A few weeks ago we were approached by a woman about performing for a jazz festival in Paris. She owned an art gallery not far from our apartment where we met with her to discuss the performance. As we sat down a very cute dog came into the room to see who was visiting and our host said “This is my dog, Bill Evans”. In my estimation that statement established her commitment to jazz and why she would be helping to produce a jazz festival. Unfortunately we were already booked during the time of the festival so maybe next year.
Until next time,
Leslie and Gerard
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