Leslie Lewis et Gérard Hagen "Bonjour de Paris". 6 March 2014

Bonjour de Paris ...


Chers Amis, 


It has been a while since the last post.  There has been literally no time to write. The reason for this is we have moved to a new apartment in the Saint Germain Des Prés area of Paris. We managed to get closer to the center of Paris and get an apt. that functions much better for us with better defined living spaces. This is one of the older parts of Paris and the buildings often have shall we say “quirks”. These are the things I like to think give a home character, but in reality they are minor annoyances that are part of living life in an older areas of many European cities. Our bathroom has very low ceilings, even for us. Our living room has 20 foot ceilings with very large windows and doors that lead to a courtyard. I am really looking forward to using this outdoor space in spring and summer. Leslie is thrilled to be able to garden. Our little street, and I mean little, (there is only one lane), is mostly filled with foot traffic but there are occasional cars as well. The main thing about the street is that there are 10-12 bars and restaurants on our one little block. The street is well known among the twenty something crowd. It is also well remembered by the thirty-forty  something crowd who when they learn where we live typically will chuckle with a “I remember when” story from their past. The weekend evenings are quite busy with the energy of youth in the air.  Fortunately our apt. is located on the inside courtyard of our building which keeps us safely away from the partiers and the resulting ruckus.


I am more than thrilled to announce that today Leslie received by mail the document that she will return with a photo to create her carte Vitale and thus she will have a permanent social security number. She should receive the actual carte Vitale in the mail in about two weeks.  So almost a year to the day since since I received my carte Vitale she will get hers and that will bring more opportunities to work!  We started this process in November, 2012!  Keep in mind this is just a social security number not a green card.  We have had our work documents since the fall of 2012.


Tonight we played a concert on a boat in the river Seine. It was a typical Parisienne thing. Which means it was just a little too weird to fit into what would be the normal experience you would expect if you were invited to attend a concert on someone’s boat. For starters the gangplank was about 8 inches wide and had no railings. The stairs to lower deck were so steep that even I (5’7”) hit my head. Once we made it into the performance space we were pleased to see a Yamaha piano (tuned that day), and a Yamaha P.A. system.  I have no idea how they got that piano on board.  The concert was a blast even though Leslie is still suffering from a cold that has moved to her lungs and won’t let go.

There are many cool things coming up this month.  We are doing more performances of the “Cotton Club” show. Our next performance with that show is at the Jazz’ittudes Festival in Laon, France. Ron Meza, who many of you know from our gigs at Kobe Steakhouse is on the band for that date.  Tomorrow night Leslie is working at Le Rageuneau and next weekend Leslie and I are doing a duo concert at a Sunday salon for a Parisienne music association.  That along with our regular Chez Papa club dates gibes us a lot to look forward to.


Leslie and I were approached to be a part of a new show that will trace the progression of black female singers from early blues and gospel to jazz to current R&B.  I have started doing some preliminary research on the music so I can write arrangements that will be historically accurate as well as creatively interesting. 


We are looking forward to seeing some of you here in Paris in the upcoming months.  I have learned to never be surprised by who may show up in Paris and lately we have been meeting people who have mutual friends with us. Please let us know if you have plans to visit Paris. We always enjoy a good hang with our friends.


We hope all is well for you and your families


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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