Here is something nice to play while you read on...
There is one thing I have to admit to before the festival starts, and before I start this blog, and it is that I have a relatively untrained ear when it comes to jazz (and I suppose, music generally, despite having spent a fair bit of my childhood playing the trumpet (badly) with a marching band).
In a way, that’s one of the things that I like most about Lancaster Jazz Festival. No one minds that I am no specialist and no one will laugh when I say that I found out what Jazz was not by hearing it but because I read Boris Vian’s 1947 novel L’Ecume des Jours (Froth on the Daydream or Mood Indigo depending on the translation).
If you haven’t read it, you should give it a shot, it’s a truly amazing book, lightly surreal and poetic and the characters feel like they could be notes from a Duke Ellington record.
Interestingly, one of the main characters, Chloe, is called so because of Chloe Song of the Swamp and yet some people choose Mood Indigo for the book’s title in English as well as for the recent film adaptation by Michel Gondry (Director of the Science of Sleep).
As it was the book that first sparked my interest in Jazz, I have to say, it always feels a little surreal to me, and while the music plays, I find myself thinking that we could be in that book too.
So who knows, maybe some of the artists we are looking forward to welcome to Lancaster will be the next Duke Ellington, and maybe I should take this blogging opportunity to try and become the Boris Vian of my generation?
Okay, there may be a bit of froth on my daydream…
Leo Burtin - Festival Promoter & Coordinator