Bonjour de Paris ...
I began writing this newsletter while we were flying over the North Atlantic Ocean about halfway to Frankfurt, Germany during the second leg of our journey back to Paris. That flight was followed by a short "third leg" flight from Frankfurt to Paris. By the time we got home, we had travelled more than 17,000 miles this month. Between flights, rental cars, and Uber rides we visited, stayed in, or worked in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Palm Springs, Cleveland, Spokane, Coeur d'Alene, San Clemente, Venice and Temecula to name a few places. We spent time in airports in Paris, Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Chicago, Cleveland, Minneapolis, and Spokane. Some airports as many as four times. We slept in many different beds in many different rooms. I don't remember which flight we were on but I will never forget Leslie sleeping with her chin resting on her chest when she looked up at me sideways and said " Are we coming, or are we going?" After which her head fell back down and she was asleep before I could answer. We enjoyed some great meals with friends and family, and some friends who feel like family. We spent time with people we know from Europe who were in the states, got caught up with the lives of our family and very dear friends whom we don't see nearly enough, and sadly, we were not able to see some friends who we really wanted to connect with. While we were traveling I had some time to reflect on this past month; the music we made, the musicians we worked with, the audiences we performed for, and the time we spent in America. It is always good to come back. Our time spent in America is always a good touchstone for us to gain some perspective on our lives in Europe and also in general. We were very happy that the material from the new recording was well received by our audiences in the states. It has been well received in Europe but since it is quite a departure from our previous recordings, we weren't sure what kind of response we'd receive in the U.S. You can download this recording at https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/leslielewis5 Most of our concerts were sold out but we have to mention that the award for the most ingenious audience member goes to John Nootbar who upon learning our Laguna Beach concert was sold out purchased a hotel room over looking the outdoor space where we performed and watched the concert from the comfort of his private room!
One of Leslie's July concerts somewhere in France, can't remember where sorry!
Gerard at the La Baule Jazz Festival, La Baule France.
Photo from tour in France, July. Yes that is a peacock!
La Baule Jazz Festival.
Our new recording, now available as a download on CD Baby.
The Laguna Beach Live concert was sold out!
At "The Bop Stop" in Cleveland.
At "The Merc" in Temecula, CA.
Leslie at the Bayside in Newport Beach.
Leslie, Richard Hastings, Karla Ross, Gerard, and Chris Berry in Newport Beach.
Gerard, Leslie & Emilie Forbin, all the way from Paris to Venice, CA.
Leslie, Jack and Lisa, started as singers and became longtime friends.
Leslie & Cheryl Silverstein in Newport Beach.
Leslie, Gerard, Marcy Vaj, and Pearl at "The Vaj Mahal" in Venice, CA.
Leslie & Mariya in Laguna Beach, CA.
View of Laguna Beach, CA.
We are beginning to make a big push to be doing more concerts and fewer jazz club dates. Having a decent number of "likes" on our Facebook Band Page would be helpful in terms of dealing with concert promoters, so... if you are so inclined we would really appreciate it if you would stop here and "like" our page. https://www.facebook.com/surfcovejazz/ You will get some information that is not available in other places such as when tickets are available for our concerts, etc.
We have made the transition to living our lives in Europe. Our American money, credit cards from American banks and US cell phones get stored and our U.S. bank accounts go semi-dormant. Upon landing in Europe all of those things are replaced by European versions. Since we are not willing to give up the possibility of returning to live in America at some point, we have taken on two lives depending upon where we happen to be. More on this in up-coming newsletters.
We arrived in Paris at 8:30 am Thursday, Aug. 24th making the trip around seventeen hours. On Friday we left from Gare Montparnasse at 8:30 am for the three hour ride on the TGV to La Baule. It is sort of a bookend because in July we did three days at the La Baule Jazz Festival and left for America the day after we returned to Paris. This time around we left for La Baule the day after we returned to Paris from California. We have been invited to spend some time at the summer home of our friend Lois. It is one of our favorite things to do, especially in the summer because we get to be at the beach, BBQ, read, have good conversations, drink some wine and take bets on what is going to happen next in Washington.
The first time we were invited to Lois' home (four years ago) I slipped and fell down her stairs breaking two ribs, scrapping up my side, and causing a huge hematoma on my hip. Last summer on the first night that we spent here a man broke into her house whom I had to chase out, so this year we laughed while we tried to guess what we might face...what we didn't know was that Leslie came home from the states with an infection in her lungs. So after two trips to and an over night stay in the emergency room she is now on the mend. Considering where things were yesterday, we happily spent a beautiful afternoon at the beach today far from the hospital and with Leslie (and me) breathing much easier. We plan on being at the beach for the rest of the time we have here and soak up as much time relaxing before returning to Paris.
Leslie and I need to take a minute to thank everyone who made this past five weeks so great. The musicians who made such great music with us, Peter Giron our bassist who traveled from Paris to perform with us, Jerry Kalaf who made every concert we did including a very travel intensive Cleveland trip, Joey Sellers and Luis Mascaro with us at Laguna Beach, Tim Emmons in Temecula and Jack Schantz in Cleveland. A big thank you to Ron Kobayashi and everyone who came out for the for the Newport Beach date, including Darryl Walker, Richard Hastings, Chris Berry,and Karla Ross. We couldn't be more grateful to all of our friends who came out to hear us. Some of you several times. We are very blessed to have you in our lives. To Rusty Gillette and Jack Prather your instruments made the Laguna Beach gig possible. To Reg Rodgers, the man who helped me to become a pianist, your being at our concert in Cleveland was an unbelievably joyful thing for me. To Mike and Carol Penn, there are no words to describe your generosity. To my family, Mike and Margaret, thank you for a much needed break in your beautiful home. We love you guys.