Jazz In Marciac

JIM three letters that snap like evidence.

And yet it was not won when, on August 12, 1978, a first jazz concert was held, organized by a handful of friends in the arenas of Marciac. Marciac? But who then knew the name of this Gers village, charming after all. Not even the star of the day, Claude Luter, clarinetist and sax, already one of the best jazzmen. At rehearsal time he was lost 300 km away, at… .. Marcillac.

Today it is a 4,000 m² marquee that welcomes more than 22,500 festival-goers for 3 weeks of concerts! How did the miracle happen? A tad thanks to the perseverance of Jean-Louis Guilhaumon, professor of English, principal parachute of the College of this pretty country house and keen on jazz of course.

The first editions were timid, even if they won the adhesion of American musicians settled in France, like Bill Coleman and Guy Lafitte. The two lads open their address books. So little by little, we know that in Marciac, there are concerts that are worth the journey.  It will be Dizzi Gillespie, Ray Charles, Lionel Hampton, Oscar Peterson ...

In the 1990s, the festival was written in big letters in the diaries of jazz fans. And not only in France, notoriety goes far beyond borders, boosted by the prestige of the headliners.

Also today boosted by the off - nicknamed "the Bis" - whose free programming nonetheless attracts highly talented musicians. The large square punctuated by beautiful medieval arcades also hosts a giant marquee for evening concerts; while the surroundings, stands are set up to feast on. There is a very special atmosphere in Marciac, you will confirm the regulars.

And JIM has won his international festival stripes with flying colors. Proof ? Wynton Marsalis, trumpeter and official ambassador even wrote a Marciac Suite and a statue in his effigy now sits on the Place du Chevalier d'Antras!

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