How can I chase the autumn Blues away?
“Villages once bustling with the crowds of tourists now lie dormant in preparation of the coming winter…” Or are they? Summer may be over in Provence, the cicadas and humming bees may no longer be heard in the sun-baked valleys, but all is not doom and gloom. Moving into October, the countryside donned its beautiful autumn colours, the wine harvests are coming to an end. Summer festivals might be a distant memory but the Jazz and Blues scene here in the Vaucluse is in full swing.
Dark smoky piano bars aren’t exactly what comes to mind when you think of the Luberon, but despite appearances the link is strong between Provence and Jazz. There are actually several Jazz dens spread across the region, and they’re not very dark, or smoky either. I’ll let you in on a secret, there is a website all about Jazz in Provence, a true goldmine of events and concerts for all tastes, from the muddy Delta Blues to the Ragtime bands…
One place worth visiting if looking for a quality concert is Le Sonograf’ in le Thor, which has a fantastic selection of local and international artists all year round. They also sponsor the Avignon Blues Festival which has now been running for 15 years and takes place every year at the beginning of October. It recently saw Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne among others, and the festival attracts regular crowds of Blues enthusiast and curious melomaniacs. I tell my friends I fit in the first category but when I chat with some of the fanatics that attend these events I am humbled into the second category… Another Avignon scene that offers a blues selection is Les Passagers du Zinc who, incidentally, program Popa Chubby on the 15th of October. Yes, Provence isn’t all about fragrant Thym and singing cicadas… shocking news, I know.
Did you know Oppède-le-Vieux, one of Just Provence’s luxury vacation rental locations, was restored to its great condition in recent years by the humourist and Jazz enthusiast Michel Leeb? He organises Jazz concerts and one-man shows every year in a summer festival that raises funds to help restoration of the village’s most important buildings. This is a fine example of how cultural activities benefit the region for the good of all who enjoy it, travellers and locals alike.
Prior to attending the Kenny Wayne concert I enjoyed a delicious salad “au chêvre chaud” at the Offset restaurant who themselves had a show on that night, but until I develop a gift of ubiquity I have to make choices… I’ll be attending the Eddie C. Campbell concert on the 6th in Montfavet, but worry not Tim will be answering your e-mails during the week-end while I’m grooving…
Did you attend any memorable concerts or festivals during your stay in Provence? Do you plan on attending any? What kind of events would you be interested in? Please tell us here or simply drop us an emailing at [email protected] or with your next enquiry so we can help you find exactly what you’re looking for.