July 18th > August 4th


of Jazz in Marciac


Marciac 2012 : A Quality Label

Let’s not get it wrong. Marciac is not just a prim little village nestled in the « route des bastides » (and foie gras) valley ; nor is it a mere convenient stop on the Santiago de Compostela routes for the harassed pilgrims momentarily devoted to the Saint Mont or the baba gascon religions. Classified « Grand Site of Midi Pyrénées », Marciac is regarded as a quality label, or lets say an AOC label, in places as diverse and prestigious as New York, Sao Paulo, Montréal, Chicago or Santiago de Cuba.

« Jazz in Marciac », not only known for its high standard quality but also for its eclecticism, has now been glowing over the jazzy sphere for the last thirty-five years. Born of its President’s persistent efforts, whose DIY (Do It Yourself) punk ethics has ironically proved efficient, Jazz in Marciac manages to gather massive, woodstock size crowds out of the blue, right into the depths of Gers. And this is not likely to change this year. The 2012 Jazz in Marciac program is indeed brilliant. « Voices » — being, as we all know, both the oldest instrument and the trickiest to discipline — will stand for one of its main themes. Melody Gardot, Bobby McFerrin, Esperanza Spalding, Eric Bibb, Keb’Mo’, will thus be performing the first nights, followed by Dianne Reeves, the Corean Youn Sun Nah, the Cuban Omara Portuondo, the Beninese Angelique Kidjo, Lucky Peterson (with Wynton Marsalis). And eventually by the crooner and actor Harry Connick Jr. playing in Marciac for the first time. Same as Ruben Blades, fantastic salsero (and actor too), who happened to have run for the presidency of Panama in 1994. As for its instrumental part, the program is not to be sneezed at either. Starting from the long-awaited venue of Sonny Rollins, the eighty-two year old Colossus of reeds ; the piano evening reuniting Kenny Barron, Mulgrew Miller, Benny Green and Eric Reed ; or the encounter between the Jazz at the Lincoln Center Orchestra with l’Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse. And last, but not least, three new pieces (for three different bands) by John Zorn who decided to test them in France. As for the agoraphobic « jazzaficionado » bunch, they may go to L’Astrada, the local Zenith, to watch the wrestling match between Michel Portal and Bernard Lubat, or witness the ever improving skills of Emile, Parisien — as far as his surname go —, Marciacais — as far as his heart takes him to.

© Arkade, Marciac.

© Arkade, Marciac.