Monday, August 4, 2014

Big Band Jazz with Friends

Najac
My friends, Anita and Richard, just returned from a visit to the States. I was excited to hear about their adventures, so Anita invited me to their lovely home in Mazerolles for dinner, a jazz concert and lots of conversation about what they saw on their travels. Since the concert wouldn't finish until late, she also suggested that I stay the night to avoid the hour-plus drive home late at night on the dark, winding narrow roads of the causse. That was an offer I couldn't refuse! As I arrived, I stopped at the top of their village to take a couple of shots of Najac across the valley from their home.
We dined alfresco on their covered porch. I enjoyed this view of their neighbor, the Chateau as I ate Anita's signature tomato and goat cheese tart which was accompanied by salad, gazpacho, bread and of course, wine! Can't beat the scenery, can you?
The free big band jazz concert was held in the tiny village of St. Michel-de-Vax near St. Antonin-Noble-Val. This is always one of the venues each summer as one of the musicians is from this 30 house hamlet.The band is called Culinaro and is a group of session musicians who get together 3 or 4 times a year to perform. There are 14 of them including the singer, and they play classics by such greats as John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie and Herbie Hancock. They also throw in a little jazz with a Latin flare...salsa and bossa nova The singer is terrific; at times she sounded a lot like Billie Holiday. Hearing live jazz by professionals in the heart of a medieval village sitting under the huge plane tree in the village square is an experience I won't soon forget!
Spending the night meant I was able to get some photos of Najac in the early morning light. I'll share some of those in my next post.

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