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Giving Birth to All That Jazz (and Other Babies)

 Banner for  Photo World 2014 Quintette du Hot Club - Paris, FranceClub Rayé - Paris, FranceClub RayéClub Rayé's Kafka Bar - Paris, FranceClub Rayé’s Kafka BarClub Rayé's October schedule - Paris, France Jazz ClubEddie Allen Afro BandEddie Allen Afro BandLes Grands Pianistes du Hard Bop - Paris, France

Ten years ago today Parler Paris was born, again — published independently from any other company other than my own (for a while it was sponsored by International Living). As an audience, you wouldn’t have recognized it as any different than any other, but it was a momentous occasion for me and marked the birth of what has turned out to be a long career. (The Nouvellettre® was all about American in Paris Jim Haynes, if you wish to read it now!)

Twenty-nine years ago today I was laboring over a different kind of story. “She” was 7 lbs. 4 oz., screaming her lungs out and begging to grow up and become an adult — which thank goodness, she has. On Erica Simone’s Facebook page yesterday, she posted “You know you’re almost 30 when you start to care about ironing your shirt before you leave the house… but you know you’re not 30 yet, when you realize it’s a Nirvana T-shirt.”

The 29 year-old ‘almost adult’ just won two awards at the PhotoWorld Exhibition that took place last Friday, September 26th, at the Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn, New York. That’s pretty adult-like, if you ask me, even if she WAS wearing a Nirvana T-shirt! Here’s one of the award winners you might get a kick out of (like I did!).

Meanwhile, life in Paris is pretty jazzy. We all know the French love jazz, but let’s face it, jazz was born in the good old U.S. of A…and you know where the birthplace is, right? According to, “Jazz is a genre of music that originated in African-American communities during the late 19th and early 20th century.” But interestingly enough, adds that “In the late 19th century, while the rest of America was stomping their feet to military marches, New Orleans was dancing to voodoo rhythms. New Orleans was the only place in the New World where slaves were allowed to own drums.”

France adopted jazz in the 1920s and by the 1930s it had been fully accepted. In 1934, the Quintette du Hot Club de France was born and is considered among the most significant jazz groups in history. Okay fine, but (in my opinion), the best jazz in France is played and produced by you know who?

Americans, of course! Just this past week, I got a taste of American style jazz — at the jazzy Club RaYé. Birthed by American Kein Cross, this is Paris’ swankiest music club. Americans sing and play here, among the black and white stripes, accompanied by a delicious menu of edibles and potables to keep you happily there all night long. If you’re so inclined, you can belong to the Club Rayé Kafka Bar — a private club on the lower level where you can hold your private parties. For what’s up in October, visit the site or click on the photo of the club’s October schedule.

Monday night, I couldn’t sit still in my seat listening to the Eddie Allen Afro Jazz Band in a bar on rue Oberkampf. But don’t go there! Eddie and the gang are moving to Wednesdays at the Zebra Rouge beginning in November from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. (45, rue des Trois Bornes, 75011 Paris). Here’s where you can get of taste of jazz à la Eddie Allen, Armando Assouline, Didier Haboyan, Tahiry Razanamasy, Katy Roberts, Joseph Langley, and Rasul Siddik. Visit eddieallenafrojazzband/ for the most up-to-date information or subscribe to Joseph Langley’s newsletter by emailing him at [email protected].

Another long time American in Paris, Joe Makholm has his own jazzy gig going on an irregular, but regular basis. This coming Saturday, October 11th from 9:30 p.m., “Les Grands Pianistes du Hard Bop” — Joe, along with Sonny Clark, Freddie Redd and Horace Silver, are playing at the Caveau des Légendes (22, rue Jacob, 75006 Paris). It’s jazz of the real kind.

Be there or be square (and not be jazzy, at all!).

A la prochaine,

Adrian Leeds, The Adrian Leeds Group Inc - with Erica SimoneAdrian Leeds

The Adrian Leeds Group, Inc

(with baby Erica)

Respond to Adrian


Doni Belau - Girls' Guide to ParisP.S. Join us at Parler Paris Après-Midi on October 7 when our guest speaker is Doni Belau, founder of Girls Guide to Paris. Doni will be speaking on “La Belle France – Beyond Paris” and sharing her secrets for planning perfect weekend trips to les plus belle villages de France. We meet from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. upstairs at Café de la Mairie (formerly La Pierre du Marais), on the corner of rue des Archives and rue de Bretagne, 3rd. Métro Lines 9, 3 et 11, stations Temple, République or Arts et Métiers. Costs nothing except whatever you drink!


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