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Jazz in the Var

January 2003 saw the start of the VAR VILLAGE VOICE "JAZZ IN THE VINEYARDS" Programme, a series of Jazz events organised and sponsored by editor Anita Rieu-Sicart, jazz fan of long standing, in collaboration with Ian Anderson, a jazz pianist of great talent, Tony Bagwell, formerly Musical Director at the Sporting Club, Monte Carlo, both then living in the Var.

For the following few years, monthly Jazz Picnics, very relaxed affairs to which holidaymakers brought their own picnics, were held throughout the summer at numerous wine domaines, encouraging residents and tourists alike to visit and try out the wines of the region, and culminating in an International Big Band concert held at the end of July.

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The 'Big Band'
Under the direction of local composer and arranger Tony Bagwell, the programme, as always, was an exciting mix of instrumentals and songs, covering a wide spectrum, ranging from well known classics to jazz, and rock numbers. bringing together jazz stars from all over, New York, London as well as the stars to be found on the home Var scene.

In 2006 again the Big Band - five saxes, two trumpets, trombone, guitarist, piano and rhythm section, not to forget great Blues singer Shireen Francis -reunited at the end of July for yet another stunning concert. The capacity crowd stomped, and yelled, and danced until 1 am to some great, great music.


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Needed - Jazz Sponsor
Unfortunately it has not been possible to organize Jazz Picnics or Big Band events for the past couple of years. As all jazz fanatics will know it is increasingly difficult to cover the costs of such events. The Editor lives in hope that a “Prince Charming” devoted to Jazz – read “Commercial Sponsor” - is going to appear one day, and say “Here you are Cinders, organize another Big band Event in the Var.

Any such Sponsor stands to gain a great deal, there is a devoted audience out here, intelligent, A, B, socio economic backgrounds – it's a generation thing - who come back time and again for good and great Jazz.

So this Editor lives in hope that the Band - which includes some staggeringly good musicians, more often found on the London jazz scene, and in the recording studio - will one day soon be back again to carry on the Var Jazz Tradition.

If you are interested please get in touch with the Editor here


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