France – Jazz in Marciac

Photo via Flickr user mpix46
Marciac is a small medieval town in southwest France that has a population of less than a couple thousand. But even with a small population this town gets together every year to host one of the most popular, international jazz festivals in Europe, which runs for a fortnight every summer (from July 27 through August 14 this year). 
While during the colder months Marciac sits quietly, just north of the snow-capped Pyrenees Mountains, during the summer jazz festival, Jazz in Marciac, the town trumpets into life. Two concerts are hosted every night in the “chapiteau” which is essentially an open-air square capable of seating 5,000. Festivities, free music, and merchandise are available from 11am till 8pm every day. At night headliners play and those night concert tickets cost around 30 euros. A commitment to jazz music goes deeper than just the festival in Marciac with the music being heavily emphasized by locals and even taught as a daily subject in schools. Jazz in Marciac is one of the best places to hear a wide variety of jazz of any of the festivals in Europe. Some people even say that it challenges Switzerland’s Montreux as Europe’s premier jazz venue.
This summer the festival is presenting a great international line-up of jazz artists including Luis Salinas, Gregory Porter, Anthony Strong, Roberto Fonseca, Angelique Kidjo, Philip Catherine, and many more. If you happen to be traveling in southwest France during this time, make sure to stop by this nice little town and experience a true American art form.


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