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Marciac jazz festival - Le jazz hot in Marciac

Marciac jazz festival - Le jazz hot in Marciac

16 Jul 2013 BY Tim Wells

The Marciac Jazz Festival is one of the most popular modern music festivals in Europe, and has virtually transformed what was a typically sleepy Gers bastide town into a vibrant regional cultural centre. Founded in 1978 by a group of amateur musicians, it originally focussed on Trad, or Dixieland, then expanded under local school principal Jean-Louis Guilhaumon to include more modern styles. Up to 200,000 music lovers come from far and wide during the last week in July and the first week in August to hear jazz greats such as Sonny Rollins, Wynton Marsalis, and Daniel Humair, as well as exciting new artists making their debut on the big stage. The heart of the festival are the free concerts in the chapiteau, a large tent set up on the rugby field just outside the medieval town centre. Festival Off is a smaller stage in the centre of town with all-day open-air performances, and the Astrada (“destiny” in Occitan), a modern concert hall of 500 places, stays in full swing during the festival, but also runs a diverse programme of cultural events throughout the year: jazz, classical music, readings, theatre. During the festival Marciac presents a plethora of other events about local culture, history, cuisine, and architecture; there is something for everyone. The 2013 Jazz in Marciac programme will be available in April 2013.

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