Summer 2010 Review Part 3 – Nice

[Continuation of the series]

Nice, France: Côte d’Azur

This is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful places on the planet. There is a coast line of about 110 miles, from Monaco in the East stretching all the way to Marseille and Toulon, France in the West, and that stretch is called the Côte d’Azur—Blue Coast. And the water is really blue and filled with lots of topless sunbathers. Ooh la la! Cannes is famous, and so is Monaco, but the French also enjoy Nice and Juan Les Pins, and do big Jazz Festivals in both. So, we do, too.

Busy day… Press is everywhere and we break from our normal protocol and do lots of press on show day, just backstage amongst cozy little white tents for the various artists on bumpy unlevel ground. Dweezil Zappa plays Zappa was on fire, young Zappa continuing, but expanding upon the legacy of his dad.

Their chests are pressed against the fence at the front of the stage. Men, women, and children, boys and girls, all there and buzzing and whistling for us to start long before we can complete the set change. I’m knocked out by all of it.

This program of early music, the first music they ever heard me do (and for those 20-30 years old, a brand new listen), continues to be a real crowd-pleaser. I’m more than pleased myself. As we planned out this musical program around Christmas and New Years of this year, we had high hopes, but the reaction has gone beyond our high hopes. You Don’t See Me, We Got By, Sweet Potato Pie, and Easy are making new friends. This festival has turned into a super-international occasion with music from all over the world presented under the banner of JAZZ. I make congratulations on this from stage and added, “So maybe next year we’ll have a polka band,” and I started singing BA DA DA DAH, BA DA DA DAH, from the famous Beer Barrel Polka. And before I could get to the repeat of that phrase, this French audience in Nice, France was singing along. Oh my God, I was astounded—I think they were, too. A polka, here in Nice.

Need I say more? It was a fabulous fabulous one-of-a-kind night here in the South of France. Thanks to Dweezil for his courage and chutzpah for extending and expanding the legacy… That’s not easy.

I love you, Nice! You see the best of the best music and art and dance and film, and for some reason you keep on inviting me back.

Bravo, Merci, À bientôt, Al Jarreau!

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