Paris, France hosted the International Jazz Day 2015. Rich in culture and history, the City of Lights was a suitable selection for the years host celebration, thanks to its historically innovative and vibrant jazz scene. There were a series of education programs and performances, including master classes, workshops, panel discussions and jam sessions. The event took place at the UNESCO headquarters on the Place de Fontenoy. General, the events were pen and free to the public. According to the UNESCO website, several French and International jazz artists took part, something that ensured that the streets of the city rang with sounds of jazz throughout the better part of the evening (http://www.un.org/en/events/jazzday/). The venue encapsulated the cool elegance of the art-deco era, characterized by just the suitable atmosphere for live jazz, mouth-watering delicacies, and fabulous cocktails. The place reminisced the attendants the chic, intimate old jazz venues of the early nineteenth century as they enjoyed the sophisticated atmosphere with cool jazz melodies. There was a handpicked list of several cocktails that complete the extensive selection of drinks.
We arrived fairly early to the show and could only find a handful of people in the venue, mainly the waiters. After few minutes, people started arriving in groups and within no time, the place was packed to capacity. The crowd was mainly older people who dressed in suits with old-school hats. It was clear to us that we were off the mark as we were casually dressed in pairs of jeans, polo shirts, and jackets. Everyone had a glass of wine in his or her hand, but since we could not take any alcoholic drinks, we made us of non-alcoholic drinks and the sumptuous meals.
Place de Fontenoy was greeted with a series of performances from world-class artists, among them, John Beasley, A BU from China, trumpeter Till Bronner from Germany, Al Jarreau, Hugh Masekela, among many others. The venue became rich of deep sound of the bass and mellow sound of the alto saxophone that made everyone enjoy the performances. The intensity of the drums made things even livelier. Each and every song was just phenomenal in its way. One performer that caught my attentions was Al Jarreau. Al Jarreau is considered a vocal icon, a smooth crooner with a knack of scat singing. He is an American jazz artist, born in Wisconsin. He was brought up in a Christian family; his father was a minister ad a singer in the Seventh-day Adventist church, while his mother was a pianist. The family performed together in church concerts.
We were no offered a program of any kind, so it was not easy for us to identify any of the songs that Al Jarreau performed that night. Many of the songs he performed were solo songs. His band was made up of one pianist, two saxophonists, a double bass player and a drummer. My favorite song of the event was Al Jarreau's Rainbow in Your Eyes. This is a love song made of powerful and emotional lyrics. The lyrical flow of the song reminded me of Marvin Gayes Lets Get it On. Another thing I loved about the song was the way the band perfectly blended drums, the bass, piano, and saxophone. The sound was spectacular, and Al Jarreau's vocal was the best in my opinion.
Much as I have never been in any jazz concert, neither have I taken a keen interest in jazz music, the experience in this event was just phenomenally awesome. The venues itself was spectacular, was open and had enough space to allow people dance freely. I laud Al Jarreau's performance, and how he managed to involve the crowd in his performance. During the performance, he invited several people to dance with him on the stage, and that part made the event much great. It was a nice experience, and I look forward to attending more jazz live performance concerts, especially the ones involving Al Jarreau.
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