Anouskha Shankar, Sonny Rollins and Tom Jones: the stars of Juan

Sonny Rollins is said to be the "Last jazz giant,": Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Art Blakey, were his mentors or partners – and he has chosen to face up to his age. He’s got his afro hairstyle again, but now naturally grey and blurry. He’s clearly suffering from arthritis, moving slowly and bending forwards. He told the Nice Matin before the concert that he still spends hours practising each day, trying to become a better player.

His show at Juan was outstanding: he ran through a series of new and old pieces, gave plenty of time to his excellent band to play solos, and gave us all that wondrous sensitivity with which he expresses himself.

Music Image: 

read more

Greepeace Polar Bears occupy Shell France

Twenty Greenpeace activists have entered the premises of Shell France in Colombes, in Hauts-de-Seine, to protest against the Anglo-Dutch group's plans for oil drilling in deep water in the

Report Image: 

read more

Size matters at the Grimaldi Forum’s Extra Large exhibition

This summer’s main exhibition at Monaco’s Grimaldi Forum is a collection of monumental pieces from the Pompidou Centre’s collections.  At first this sounds like a daft idea – a bit like deciding to read all the big format books in a library. And yet, once you get inside the show and start to follow the logic of curator Ariane Coulandre, you find yourself drawn into all kinds of parallels and similarities in this preposterous concept.

Report Image: 

read more

National Front to sue Madonna

Madonna, coming to Nice on August 21, is in trouble with France’s extreme right-wing party the National Front.   The Material Girl has put the cat among the pigeons by showing FN leader, Marine Le Pen’s face with a swastika on the forehead in a stage concert video backdrop. The image later morphs into the face of Adolf Hitler.  The incident took place at France’s Stade de France.

The FN, previously led by Ms Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie, who once described the holocaust as a “detail of history”, is upset about being associated with fascism in Madonna’s video.
 

Report Image: 

Cannes’ Musical Nights of the Suquet

Les Nuits Musicales du Suquet is set for a roaring success this summer. Two shows are already sold out, and the others are booking fast.  It's a chance to see Nigel Kennedy, or to hear some fine Chopin, some Russian Revelations, or some Mozart, all in the beautiful setting of the square in front of the Church in Old Cannes.

The shows start on Monday 23 July, with “Mozartissimo”. On the Tuesday you can hear Sarah Nemtanu and Anne-Lise Gastaldi playing Tchaikovsky, Ravel, and Saint-Saens.

Report Image: 

read more

Estrosi pleased with Nice Jazz 2012

Mayor Christian Estrosi held a gleeful press conference to round up the Jazz Festival, pleased to note more spectators, and great music.

In all, nearly 35000 people came to the five nights.  At nearly 7000 per night that’s squashing them in, but the audiences seemed to enjoy it.

The City of Nice made a Net loss of 1.8Million euros, but Estrosi sees this as acceptable given the amount of increased trade for hoteliers, restaurants, and others.

One thing that has really improved is the excellent Jazz Off program, with events all over Nice, showcasing local bands, and bringing fee jazz to the town.

Report Image: 

read more

Still time to book the AMP IT UP Rock festival!

Status Quo, Michael Schenker, Simple Minds, Jean-Louis Aubert – that’s the line-up for the first AMP IT UP rock festival happening in Juan les Pins from July 25-30.  You’ve enjoyed the jazz and the reggae, now it’s time to rock with some of the great names of rock music.

July 25 – Simple Minds, supported by Blah Blah

Report Image: 

read more

Musiques au Coeur hits the heights in Antibes

This year’s Musiques au Coeur classical music festival reached a peak on Monday evening in a splendid performance of “The Marriage of Figaro” at the beautiful Villa Eilen Roc in Cap d’Antibes. Introduced by French radio and TV star Eve Ruggieri, this enchanted evening under the Mediterranean summer twilight kept all of its promise.

Report Image: 

read more

Voodo and Trombones, as New Orleans comes to Nice’s Jazz Festival

Tuesday night’s Jazz Festival brought a variety of styles to the Massena stage, with pop phenomenon Texas delighting a huge crowd, while in the Theatre de la Verdure there was a fine pairing of Dr John and Trombone Shorty, two of the great New Orleans showmen playing one after the other. And with the beautiful Saharan sounds of Tinariwen also appearing, there was such a great mix of sounds it was a pity to have to make a choice between the two stages.

Music Image: 

read more

The Russian Cathedral in Nice reopens

After years of legal conflicts, the Russian Cathedral in Nice is finally open to the public once more. It’s one of the biggest tourist attractions of the French Riviera, with 273,000 visitors in 2010. Now the Russian state has taken control, putting an end to eighty years of White Russian control. In this, the centenary year of the Cathedral’s consecration, it’s fascinating to look at the story of this beautiful building and the tragedy, politics and passion running through its history. 

At the recent Nice book festival, one of the Russian authors made a comment that he feared the rise of the Russian Orthodox Church and its links with the State. It seems that the post-communist Russian government is looking for a new national identity, and wants to make the Orthodox Church a key part. And the process is extending into the West, as Russia looks to take back control of the Russian Churches dotted around Europe, and use them as cultural centres.

Report Image: 

read more