Paris is a city steeped in jazz history. This history is celebrated every year at the Paris Jazz festival, which takes place every year in the Parc Floral de Paris between June and July. This festival invites crowd pulling jazz legends but also endeavours to showcase new talent from emerging talents of the international scene. Concerts take place in the afternoons every weekend and are the perfect way to experience an authentic Parisian summer atmosphere. With numerous affordable modes of transport and competitively priced Paris apartments on offer, this is the perfect time of year for your romantic city break.
After World War I Paris was turned into a new and exciting hotbed of creativity and innovation, particularly in its underground music clubs and bars. This subculture evolved after the first influx of African American soldiers arrived during the war and brought with them their unique brand of music, which grew rapidly in popularity and quickly established itself in the area of Montmartre. This area has become the spiritual home of jazz in the city and was famed for clubs including Le Grande Duc and Bricktop’s. This infectious music quickly spread to the areas of Montparnasse, Saint-Germain-des- Prés and the area around the Champs Elysses. The cabaret clubs of the 20’s and the 30’s were the setting for a significant change in the social and artistic development of Paris during this period with some early pioneers of the scene including Josephine Baker, Darius Milhaud and the now legendary Django Reinhardt.
The popularity of the music grew rapidly and by the 1960’s Paris jazz clubs were regularly blessed with jazz royalty such as Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. Today there remains a strong musical tradition and Paris regularly plays host to reputable artists from the international scene. There is a vast selection of offerings throughout Paris, and with live music every night there will be no excuse for staying in.
The Balle au Bond is a truly unique venue. This jazz club is actually a boat that is docked in the Seine in central Paris with fairly reasonably priced drinks.
Le Bilboquet, 13 rue Saint-Benoit 6th is a Paris jazz institution dating back to 1947. This is a great place to soak up the unique ambience in this classy establishment. There is no cover charge, however the drinks are expensive (one glass of white wine costs 18EUR).
Autor de Midi, 11 Rue Lepic is an authentic underground jazz club. The roster generally contains the local players in this authentic dark jazz «cave». Reasonably priced drinks and a friendly atmosphere.
Why not end the weekend with a «jazz brunch» in the famous Jazz Club Lionel Hampton at Le Méridien Etoile (81 Boulevard Gouvion St Cyr. This large and up market supper-type club offers smooth jazz and swing on Sundays with its brunch menu costing 36EUR.
For expert jazz aficionados or novices alike, Paris offers the perfect getaway to explore this musical culture and take in some of the most ambient spots that the city has to offer on the way.
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