Jazz in Marciac (1) Esperanza Spalding and Wayne Shorter



Jazz in Marciac

For the 36th year running, the tiny village of Marciac in the Gers department of France opens its shutters to some of the jazz greats. It’s amazing to see the village square turned into a huge stage and musicians playing in every café and corner.

Restaurants pop up everywhere and visiters can sample some of the specialties of this region of France, notably foie gras and Saint Mont wine. Duck and Armagnac are on the menu too.

The huge square in the centre of the village hosts the ‘off’ festival. My daughter, a student at the local collège, will perform here. The collège specialises in jazz and students spend five hours a week working those improvisations.

I love the juxtaposition of crisp white sails and colombage buildings, plastic chairs and ancient stone.


And of course the real stars who perform in the two big venues every evening–the chapiteau and l’Astrada. So far we’ve seen Marcus Miller, Esperanza Spalding, Wayne Shorter, and looking forward to many more over the next couple of weeks.

Hard to take good photos in the chapiteau, but here’s Esperanza Spalding, a cool lady on the double base with an amazing voice…

… and Wayne Shorter, celebrating his 80th birthday this year, and a legend on the sax.









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