Leslie Lewis et Gérard Hagen "Bonjour de Paris" 30 June 2014

Bonjour de Paris ...


Chers Amis,
    June in Paris.  So far it has been a pretty mild summer here.  Some rain mixed with some really beautiful, sunny days.  I still can’t get used to the daylight lasting until around 10:00 pm here.  It feels funny to go play a jazz gig in broad daylight!  Leslie has really done wonders with our courtyard terrace. She chose some great patio furniture as well as plants, bushes and flowers to make it a really beautiful space. She brought it all together with pillows and seat cushions. I now know more about color and pattern combinations than I ever thought I would. We have been enjoying eating our dinners out there and have shared a bottle or two of wine with friends as well.

    The apartment has come a long way. Our storage issues have been solved so there are no boxes sitting in our living room. There are still some things to finish in the kitchen but the space is functioning as we had hoped. It is nice to come home to a place that feels like “our” home.  

    Work has been going well this month. Leslie did a jazz festival in Corbeil-Essonnes which is about 90 minutes from Paris.  She has also been working regularly at The Lido located on the Champs-Élysées.  We have been working monthly dates as a duo at the Speakeasy and Chez Papa.

    June 21st was the Fête de la Musique. http://www.fetedelamusique.culture.fr/en/
Basically every club, restaurant, concert hall, and church in Paris has live music. Also pretty much every block of Paris has a band playing outdoors.  You can imagine the cacophony. Many of the streets are blocked to traffic and the public transit is less predictable than usual.  On top of this, the streets are filled with people who have been partying a bit too much  and will block traffic as they walk down the middle of the street. The result is that many taxi drivers don’t work because it’s just to annoying to deal with those conditions. (Last year Leslie and I didn’t get home till 4:00 am on the night of Fête de la Musique.)  This year we had two jobs, both of which required that we use our equipment (keyboard and P.A. system). We had about one hour to get from one job to the next.  The afternoon performance was at Cercle Suedois which is not too far from the Louvre. There we had to play in two rooms and move back and forth between the two. The moves included drums, bass, keyboard and P.A., several times. After that we went to do an outdoor performance in the 12th arrondissement.  Being outdoors meant that we were on a walkway which was near a fish market.  Every so often the wind would shift and whew, the smell was almost overwhelming. Despite the less than ideal situation ,the band was swinging and Leslie’s performance inspired the crowd to fill the street and start dancing. It wasn’t long before we had a real party atmosphere going and all the weirdness was forgotten, at least until the next time the wind shifted.  All in all that day we had four equipment moves and did seven sets of music in three locations. We also had three moves by taxi. Fortunately we were able to get taxis by phoning to make reservations.  If we had tried to hail a cab on the street we would have been out of luck.  I think we got home around 2:00 am this year.

We are at the desk where Alfred Nobel signed the testament which began the Nobel Prize Awards.

       A few weeks ago part of our performance at Chez Papa Jazz Club was filmed for a French TV show. It aired on Friday night on France Channel 3.  It was a show featuring the Saint Germain Des Prés area of Paris where Chez Papa is located.This happens to be our neighborhood as well. This area was the center of jazz in Paris and there were at one time, many jazz clubs located there. Filming our performance was a recognition of the history jazz has had in this area of Paris. Leslie was interviewed as well as the club owner and some patrons.  The band got some airtime as well. We don’t have a TV, including a digital recorder, in our apartment so there was no opportunity to record the program.  I streamed it live on my Mac but Leslie was working that night so she missed it. There may be a way to get a copy from the station.

    For those of you who live in Paris, this week we are at the Speakeasy on Wednesday at 8:30 pm. http://www.lespeakeasy.com July is very busy with performances booked weeknights in Paris and weekends in La Baule so please check www.surfcovejazz.com for details.

    We were really happy to see Judy Donohue while she visited Paris. We met Judy at one of our concerts in Santa Fe.  She and some of her friends were able to join us at Chez Papa which we really appreciated. We are looking forward to seeing more friends who are vacationing in Paris in the up coming weeks. Please let us know if you are planning to be here. It is always good to see you.  

    We hope all is well for you and your families and please keep in touch. It is really good to hear from you.

Until next time,
Leslie and Gerard  

     Please if you have any comments feel free to contact me at <gerard@surfcovejazz.com>.  I enjoy hearing your thoughts. This email also appears on our website where you may comment as well.  http://www.surfcovejazz.com/blog/


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