Next up: Jazz & Blues singer Sydney Ellis, Friday, 18 November 2016.
There’s no better antidote to the February blues (I write this as wet snow pellets hit my office window) than to indulge in some music of the same variety to lift your spirits and ease your mind.
So the timing couldn’t be better for Jazz & Co., organizers of the annual series of jazz and blues concerts in the caves of the Château de Coppet, to launch their new line-up of performers for 2016, starting this weekend.
Immerse yourself in African rhythms to jazz classics
Friday, February 12, 2016 – Roland Tchakounte
Singing in bamiléké (the Cameroonian mother tongue), Roland Tchakounte‘s deep, rich voice takes you on a trip to the roots of his music, full of magic and authenticity, offering haunting and original blues melodies that are a mixture of African rhythms and the “music of the devil”.
Friday, 11 March, 2016 – Mellow Baku
Mellow Baku has memories of the music her mother played her since her birth…and possibly before. The trademark sound of this young singer/songwriter is a unique blend of contemporary jazz laced with reggae melodies. She’s a virtuoso interpreter of classic American Jazz songs, including those of Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Nina Simone.
Friday, 7 October 2016 – Morten Gunnar Larsen
A graduate of the Norwegian Academy of Music, specializing in jazz and ragtime piano, Morten Gunnar Larsen has performed as a solo artist, in duets with leading singers and jazz musicians, and also with full orchestral accompaniment interpreting the works of Gershwin and Bernstein. Most recently, he’s been exploring the music of South America and the Caribbean.
Friday, 18 November 2016 – Sydney Ellis
Sydney Ellis beautifully masters all the subtleties of the blues, classic jazz and Gospel. She began her professional career in Los Angeles where she performed at more than 300 clubs before leaving for Europe in 1995.
Her voice has unique qualities inherent in blues and soul and she masters classic songs by Dinah Washington, Elmore James, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole and Bessie Smith. Her compositions are influenced by her African American cultural heritage, giving them their unique character.
Relaxed atmosphere with light food and drink
Jazz & Co. is a small, non-profit association of jazz enthusiasts who promote the music they love by organizing four concerts a year in the vaulted cellars of the Château.
The concerts have become so popular that while you can prereserve a ticket to ensure you get in, tables cannot booked in advance and seating cannot be guaranteed. Having said that, there’s lots of seating available if you don’t mind sharing a table with other jazz enthusiasts in the audience.
The caves comprise one long room separated by a very thick brick wall (as you would expect in a 13th-century castle basement). So in the salle principale you’ll be able to see the performers whereas in the adjacent space the concert is projected onto a screen. Your best bet for a seat is to line up before the doors open at 7:30pm. Concerts start at 8:30pm.
It’s advisable to pre-book: online reservations per concert cost SFR25 for adults and SFR15 for adolescents, as opposed to SFR28/SFR15 at the door, where only cash payment is accepted. Tickets are not sent out, rather a list of online registrants is kept at the door.
If you get the munchies, there’s petite restauration, i.e., quiche, soup, terrine pies (like a pork pie), or a plate of dried meat and cheese with bread, as well as small dessert tarts. To drink there’s wine, bottled water, and coffee.
For those who don’t plan to take the train to nearby Coppet station, there is parking opposite the Château grounds and down by the lake in Coppet village or along the Route Suisse (driving towards Geneva).
Jazz & Co. welcomes new members and encourages jazz lovers to spread the word about the great music on tap at the caves. From what I can tell, the word’s spreading just fine and rightly so.