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The Saint Germain des Près Jazz Festival 2015

The Saint Germain des Près Jazz Festival 2015

The Saint Germain des Près district, located in the 6th arrondissement on the Left Bank of the Seine, has long enjoyed a reputation as having a certain cool, intellectual ambience. Unsurprisingly, this delightful part of Paris played a significant role in the rise to prominence of jazz in the mid-20th century. Today it is the setting for the annual Saint Germain des Près Jazz Festival, a relatively young but thriving event which regularly attracts some of the most creative and interesting talents in this particular genre of music. When you stay at the comfortable Hotel Marais Bastille, you are situated just across the Seine from the festival and can reach the event quickly and easily. Paris Jazz Festival 2002 - Michel Portal and Bernard Lubat - Gloumouth1 via Wikimedia commons

An essential and eclectic jazz festival in Paris

France in general and Paris in particular have long embraced jazz. Since what was then a young musical form first reached this country from its American homeland in the 1920s, it has remained immensely popular here. Paris had an exciting jazz scene in the middle of the 20th century, and played host to such towering talents as Josephine Baker, Django Reinhardt, Duke Ellington, Sydney Bechet, Count Basie and Art Blakey. These great jazz performers and many more found a warm welcome from Parisian audiences, and it was here that this kind of music first received respectful attention and serious critical appraisal. Today, Paris remains one of the world’s top cities for live jazz performances, having numerous clubs and venues specialising in this musical genre.

One of the most significant jazz events in the Parisian calendar takes place each spring. The Saint Germain des Près Jazz Festival was begun in 2001. During the 14 years of its existence this celebration of a unique, refreshing and diverse musical form has become highly respected throughout the world. This is in part due to the active encouragement of new talent that takes place during the festival, as well as the event’s open-hearted, inclusive and often experimental nature. Many venues throughout Saint Germain des Près play host to jazz concerts during the nearly two weeks of the festival. Churches, theatres, cultural centres and canal boats have all reverberated to the sounds of jazz and will do so again in 2015. There will also be plenty of free open-air gigs.

Saint Germain des Près 2015 will take place from May 21st to June 1st. Among the hugely talented performers invited for this 15th edition are the amazing saxophonist Stéphane Guillaume, Kyle Eastwood, My Dog Has Fleas, the Vijay Iyer Trio, and the wonderful Lisa Simone, daughter of the fondly remembered Nina Simone. There will, as usual, be sidebar events such as exhibitions, workshops, musician masterclasses, interviews and discussions to add to the musical mix. If you’re a jazz buff, then don’t miss this essential event, when an iconic district of Paris pulses to the sounds of your favourite kind of music.

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Useful information To go by subway Line 4 - Station Saint germain des près

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Picture copyright holder: By Gloumouth1 (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Hotel Marais Bastille, a 3 star Design hotel in the heart of Paris.

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