WBGO Blog
  • WBGO In France: Yes, We Cannes!

    July 24, 2015. Posted by Lezlie Harrison.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

    Yes we Cannes! WBGO is up and ready for another splendid day on the French Riviera.

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    With our sunscreen and hats on  - temperatures hover around one hundred degrees, with an ocean breeze - we make our way to the farmers market for a bit of shopping.

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    Back on the WBGO bus, we take an amazing ride through the spectacular Alpes-Maritimes mountains, to reach the medieval town of Grasse, which is known as the "Perfume Capital of the World.”

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    We visited the one of the oldest factories, the historic Parfumerie Fragonard. We learned about the history and process of making perfumes.

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    Composing scents is similar to composing music. Base notes are the strongest part, heart notes is where the harmony is created and the peak notes are your first impression one smells that last about twenty minutes.

    Smells like music to me!

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    Yes, we have worked up a bon appetit! Our next stop - Auberge des Gorges du Loup, the "Wolf's Gorges Inn!"

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    What kind of house dessert does a wolf serve? Feast your eyes on this panacotta delight!

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    Our waiter thought my napkin looked better as a "crown"! Que pensez-vous?

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    Our next stop - St. Paul du Vence. One of the oldest medieval towns on the French Riviera filled with art galleries, contemporary art museums shops, and magnificent views.

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    The town square hosts some exciting games of pétanque, which is the French cousin of bocce!

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    Among the famous who made their home in this picturesque village are artist Marc Chagall, Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman  and American writer, James Baldwin.

    I see a mailbox with my name on it - en français - in the future!

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    We head back to out headquarters - the Mediterranean Sea - for tonight’s concert, featuring Al Jarreau and Melody Gardot.

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    Magnifique! A demain...

  • WBGO in Saint Tropez: The Early Birds

    July 22, 2015. Posted by Lezlie Harrison.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

    In jazz as in life, the early bird gets the worm. WBGO's early birds catch the ferry to Saint Tropez!

    We arrived in St. Maxime just in time to board the scenic ride to this coastal town on the French Riviera.

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    We cruised past the estates and villas of some of the world’s richest executives and celebrities. One of the most famous and celebrated residents of the island is Brigitte Bardot, the French actress, model, and singer turned animal activist.

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    Pullling in to the port of St. Tropez, we passed some very impressive private yachts including ones with helicopters!

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    Our walking tour takes through the old quarter of St. Tropez, known as La Ponche, which is next to the Vieux Port harbor basin and  below the Citadel of St. Tropez.

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    We wound our way through the old quarter's narrow streets, alleys and inlets filled with orange and rose colored buildings and shops, and stumbled across this this fabulous fish market:

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    Some of us climbed the hill to get a view of the harbor from above.

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    After a walking up and down hills all morning in the hot Mediterranean sun, we had worked up an appetite. Time for my favorite part of the day - LUNCH - served at Le Girelier:

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    What's a "Tarte Tropézienne," you might ask? In a word, delicious. For those of you who want to know more about what you're missing, here it is:

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    We returned to Juan les Pins with our bellies full and our skins sun-kissed. After a dip in the sea. it was time for the evening’s concert featuring violinist and composer, Thomas Enhco, and jazz vocalist Lionel Richie!

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    Another hard day on the Côte d'Azur. Tomorrow we are off to Cannes!

  • WBGO in Antibes: The Monaco Blues

    July 21, 2015. Posted by Lezlie Harrison.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

    Another day with the blues, the good kind - blue water and blue skies  - here in Juan Les Pins with WBGO! Ah, la Côte d’Azur…

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    Breakfast on the terrace, overlooking the Mediterranean and the foothills of the Alps, makes for a great start to the day.

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    We head to the Rock of Monaco for a walking tour of the beautiful grounds of the Princes’ Palace.

    The palace is currently inhabited by Prince Albert II, the son of Prince Rainier III and the late Grace Kelly.

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    Princess Grace, who died tragically in 1982, is memorialized in the palace gardens with this statue.

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    Jean-Paul, our well-informed Monaco guide, shares wonderful stories about the royal family and Grace's close friendship with singer and American expat Josephine Baker.

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    One of the best parts of our tours is always lunch! Today we dined at Castleroc Restaurant. It was, I must say, incroyable!

    When in France - “drink wine, Spo-dee-o-dee!” My new wine of choice is Rosé!

    Thank you Anna Maria Sorrentino of Shop Wine and Dine for making everything so delicious.

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    After lunch, we head back down the hill, stopping at St. Nicholas Church before getting back on the WBGO bus and heading to Eze.

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    After a drive along the seaside, we’re back in Juan Les Pins for the evening concerts of the Jazz a Juan Festival.

    It’s the festival’s 55th anniversary this summer, and tonight’s highlights were Rhiannon Gidden and Brooklyn’s own - Snarky Puppy!

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    It’s an early morning tomorrow as we head to St. Tropez!

    La vie, c'est difficile sûr la Côte D’Azur…