Sunday, July 14, 2013

Fete de la Musique

Dad leaned over while we were waiting at the airport on our way to Paris.  "Let's see," he said. "We've seen two plays, a ballet, and an opera so far on this trip.  What else is left?"

"A music performance?" I offered.  I didn't feel too compelled to hunt down symphony tickets in Paris, but it did seem like we were leaving a gap in our performing arts exposure.  Fortunately, Jackie Smith had arranged everything.

Pictured here, in a photo I stole from my parents' blog

Jackie Smith is one of my paternal grandmother's good friends.  She lives in a charming apartment in the 17th arrondissement and invited us to meet her for dinner on our last night in Paris.

As we walked across the street to this restaurant:


Jackie explained that this was the night of the annual Fete de la Musique.  Restaurants all over town book bands for the evening, and all other aspiring musicians crowd the street corners and plazas to play.  Our meal was quite tasty, and the jazz band's music added nicely to the atmosphere:

Naturally, it was still light after we finished dinner, so Jackie whisked us off on the metro to enjoy the fete further.  Our destination?  The Place des Vosges:

To my literary delight, it turned out that Victor Hugo used to live in one of the red-brick apartments that line the square.

Can you guess which one?

As promised, the square was filled with musicians and Jackie led us around, giving us about 30 seconds to enjoy each one before dashing off to the next.  There was quite a variety of genres, from country to classical.

This group, led be a fellow with an acoustic guitar, handed out printed lyrics so everyone could sing along.

And at this point you can see how... relaxed everyone was becoming.

When we left the Place, we decided to explore some of the nearby streets to see what other music we could find.  Surprisingly, there were no pan flutes in sight.  We did, however, find quite the drum circle:

You can see Jackie grooving next to Dad.  She's a feisty and charming woman, and our evening with her filled the hole in our touring events and was an excellent way to close our trip.

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