Bonjour de Paris ...
Success... we have our new residency permits (Carte de Séjour). So now we have until April 2019 before these cards expire and we need to ask for new ones. As an added bonus I have finally gotten my Carte Vitale (health insurance I.D. card) unblocked. It would take way too long to explain how it got blocked in the first place so don't bother asking. I have been working on getting that accomplished for over a year. It is now much easier for me to get health care and prescriptions than before. I was always coved under the health insurance system here, I just had to deal with extra paperwork. Now that is no longer an issue. So, after four years, we now have our French tax status figured out so we aren't filing incorrect forms at tax time, we both have working health care cards, and we don't have to worry about our work status until April 2019. On top of that, I can carry on a rudimentary conversation in French, as long as everyone speaks very slowly and we only talk at a third grade level! So after finally getting everything situated and working as it should, the way my life usually works, this is about the time we would go back to the U.S.
We had a great concert at the end of May at the Pavilions Jazz Festival in Les Pavilions-sous-Bois just outside of Paris. We were one of two groups performing for the closing concert of a three night festival. That capped off a very busy five months for us. We worked with Jean-Pierre Rebillard contrebasse, and Sylvain Glevarec batterie, who were both in good form that night. We have not left Paris to work since May, and our summer gigs are all in Paris. Normally I'd be anxious to be out "there" working, but it feels good to be home doing our Paris duo gigs. Things are slower this summer for us and normally I'd be anxious about that as well but the free time has been good for us. Leslie has barely had time to garden and we are getting caught up with seeing our Parisian friends who have been waiting for our schedules to mesh.
After sound check at Pavillons Jazz Festival.
Pavillons Jazz Festival w/ Jean-Pierre and Sylvain.
Back stage view Pavillons Jazz Festival.
I am very proud to announce that Leslie is on the new Rhoda Scott CD called "On The Road Again". It is on the Ahead label here in France. I will let you know when it becomes available in the U.S. It is a live recording done over the course of three nights at the Jazz Club Etoile in Paris in December 2015. It features Rhoda organ/bass pedals, Nicolas Peslier guitar, Philippe Chagne saxophone, Carl Schlosser saxophone/flute, Julie Saury drums (nights 1-2) and Lucien Dobat drums (night 3). Leslie is featured on three tracks out of a total of ten tracks.
The new Rhoda Scott CD w/ Leslie.
We will be in La Baule at the summer home of our friend Lois for eighteen days in August. We haven't had that many days off in a row since we first moved here in 2012. I am wondering about the challenge of not doing any music for that long. In past vacations, after a few days I have had a problem with being away from working on music. Lois does have a digital piano so I suspect I'll make my way to it at some point. Leslie not so much. She is completely cool with the whole vacation thing. Especially if it includes a beach! When it is time to get back to work in Paris she will want to stay longer. I don't blame her, summertime in La Baule really is a slice of paradise. Sunny days on the beach with a few dips in the ocean, and bike rides along the coast. The nights are bbq dinners, good wine and conversation. It is really a perfect way to relax. There are always people coming and going during the month so there are new people to meet and new conversations to be had.
The beach in La Baule, France.
From the complaint department: Paris never seems to have a spring anymore. The weather goes from semi-winter to summer in just a few days. May and June were mild to chilly with a lot of rain and a few really nice days sprinkled here and there. So far even July has been very mild. I shouldn't complain because the next thing will likely be oppressive heat! I must admit that I do miss the reliability of the weather in southern California.
This October Leslie and I will be working with Jean-Pierre and Sylvain in Dinard (near Saint Malo) on the coast of Brittany at the Novotel Thalassa Hotel and Spa from the 17th through the 21st. That will be a very cool opportunity to play jazz in a spectacular ocean-side setting. Just in case we can entice any of you to make the trip.
Check our website for our other July dates, we have the usual jazz club gigs in and around Paris. While you are there sign up for our weekly email blast to learn where you can hear us.
Until next time,
Leslie and Gerard
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