The weather is turning a bit colder now and I am cursing myself for having complained, recently, that it was too hot. Having missed Piano aux Jacobins a few weeks ago, and regrettably Remi Panossian, due to the seemingly endless summer and a force stronger than myself which propelled me back and forth to the beach for most of the month of September I am ready to enjoy the city again and go back to the Pavillon République at the Conseil Départemental in Toulouse for Jazz sur son 31.
This post is for people living in Toulouse, passing through Toulouse or anyone looking for something new and beautiful to listen to.
To put on your 31 “se mettre sur son 31” basically means to get your glad rags on; 31 is the number you have on your license plate if your car is registered anywhere in the department of Haute Garonne. So there you have it, an apt name for a Jazz Festival in Toulouse, Haute Garonne.
This year marks the 32 edition for the city and the 5th for me. The concerts are held in Toulouse and other cities in HG from the 5 until the 21 October. It is a good festival for discovering new talent even though there are sometimes really high profile artists like Gregory Porter who we saw here a couple of years ago, for ten euros!! So if you are studying in Toulouse or working in Toulouse or planning a visit to the city you will want to have a look a few months before October to see who is playing.
This year, not being very familiar with any of the artists, we did a bit of listening and decided to go and hear Endless &VJing. The duo, saxophonist David Haudrechy, and pianiste Grégoire Aguilar have collaborated together to give us Endless. We were intrigued by ‘Lost Lake’. The musicians were inspired by a black and white photo of a wooden sign that read Lost Lake somewhere apparently desolate in Canada. Having listened to just one piece, the sublime ‘Melancholia’, we decided to go and see them last night.
The concert was beautiful. The music has a cinematic quality to it with the dreamy, moody melodic saxophone that brings to mind Andy Sheppard. The piano is gentle, sometimes haunting and always beautiful. The music was accompanied by a black and white film. Romain Quartier provided them with their backdrop and I still remember the photos; he uses Super 8 with digital, making moving pictures kind of like they used to do at concerts back in the day; something to focus on while you get lost in the music. All but two of the pieces were original compositions; one by Carla Bley and another from the soundtrack to the fifties film Charade.
David Haudrechy leads the big band Initiative H when he is not performing in the duo Endless. Grégoire Aguilar is an accomplished pianist in his own right.
Ticket prices are subsidized and therefore accessible to everyone. All in all there are 62 events this year which include concerts, master-classes and expositions. This time ticket prices range from free (yes free) to 26 euros with most concerts in and around Toulouse but also in St. Gaudens, Gaillac-Toulza and Castanet-Tolosan.
The Pavillon république used to be a marquee set up in front of the Conseil Départemental every year which was remarkable in itself. The makeshift venue, super cozy, with a bar and booths around the outside has been replaced by a slightly more solid structure this year with the same amenities but a little less charm. It is there to provide more entertainment throughout the year though, so no complaints. Seating is ‘ free’ or unreserved and you need to get there early. That said, the sound is good everywhere and the venue is not very big which is perfect for the short set concerts held here at this time of year.
Today you can see and hear the Amaury Faye Trio, playing for free between 12 and 13h at Gallery 3.1 and again in the evening at the Pavillion République (metro Canal du Midi) tickets 5 euros. Later in the evening Bobby Carcassés is playing at the Pavillion from 21h30. He is also giving a master class on the history of Cuban jazz tomorrow.
For the full program see https://culture.haute-garonne.fr
Enjoy Jazz sur son 31! Follow my journal to keep up with me on my travels around beautiful Occitanie
A bientôt…………………………. Christina