In the middle of a beautiful summer it might seem early to be thinking about the autumn and winter season. That is with the exception of the Monaco Jazz Festival, of course. The buzz is already in the air. The Festival looms lightly on the horizon. And this year it promises to delight both jazz and pop fans. The line-up of artists this year is greater than ever before. And enthusiasm is mounting over a program that is spilling over from Jazz to Pop. The Jazz Festival runs over several weekends in November and December enriching the autumn season and providing for pre-Christmas celebrations. Salle Garnier remains the venue of choice. Taking liberty with a flexible interpretation of the jazz genre allows for an even greater variety of entertainers.
Bridging between the summer and the Jazz Festival and to whet everyone’s appetites will be a Night of Blues at the Salle Etoile on 27th October. Then forward to the usual November 13th opening date of the Jazz Festival with Gregory Porter returning after dazzling the audience at Salle Garnier three years ago. For vocal variety the American Robin McKelle will share the stage for the evening. And immediately following the next day “Don’t Worry Be Happy” will no doubt be the highlight of Bobby McFerrin’s performance. Youn Sun Na hailing from South Korea will open the evening’s entertainment with her hypnotic tones. November 18th is a date not to be missed when the Russian pianist Denis Matsuev will grace the stage. From Russia with love to New Orleans on November 23rd. There is a special relationship between New Orleans, the city of birth of Princess Alice, and Monaco. Celebrating the 130th anniversary of this relationship will be Sanseverino who with his Big Band will turn Salle Garnier into the heart and soul of New Orleans – once, that is, that British jazz musician Hugh Coltman has put the audience in a festive mood. What would a Jazz Festival be without an accordionist in bare feet and the music of Django Reinhardt.? So the next evening welcome Vincent Peirani and Keystone Big Band Djangology. Highlight November 28th in your calendar. Salle Garnier will feature one of the rare appearances of legendary resident Monegasque John McLaughlin and his group Mahavishnu. The next evening, aficionados of drums will be captivated by the rhythmic beat of Manu Katche. And just preceding, the curtain will rise with the new wave jazz group Electro Deluxe.
The musical adventure continues for a third night in succession on November 29th. French singer Cyrille Aime will open. She is admired for her performances in the United States. Following on will be the star performance of the evening featuring the “four hands” of Benjamin Biolay and Melvil Poupaud.
Remember the Red Cross Gala with a unique and surprising DJ appearance by Boy George?
A fusion of the Jazz Festival with Pop awaits when Boy George and Culture Club take to the Monaco stage on December 1st. It’s a little early to celebrate Christmas, but why not as it will be already December. Selah Sue and Marcus Miller, who connected in the wings of a prior Monaco Jazz gala, will close the Festival in style with a Christmas theme. It’s July – yet good jazz vibrations are almost detectable in the air. Are you feeling the Christmas spirit evoked by those Jazz notes already?