Jazz Sous Les Pommiers is a week-long jazz festival held once a year in the beautiful city of Coutances in Normandy. This year was the 34th edition and I had the chance to be there for the last four days. The programme includes a broad eclectic mix of jazz sub-genres and concerts take place across four different venues around the town.
We had the opportunity to experience the wonderful Lisa Simone (Nina Simone’s daughter), who expertly seduced the audience in the salle Marcel Hélie. We also saw New York three-piece brass band Too Many Zoos at the Magic Mirrors venue and Israeli soul singer Ester Rada at the Theatre venue.
This was my second time at Jazz Sous Les Pommiers, having been here for the first time in 2009, and on arrival I was instantly reminded of just why I was so keen to come back. Putting the great choice of concerts aside, what really makes this festival so enjoyable is the atmosphere in the streets. There’s a real buzz around the festival village where people hang out, grab street food and sip a cold beer. And then there are the numerous street performances which pop up around the city.
And it’s one of these street performances that will feature in this entry to the World Sounds project. As we were walking towards the local public garden, we heard the sound of a jazz band warming up. And just as we arrived, they began to perform in front of a small crowd. Dixie At School are a 6-piece jazz band. The gardens were a beautiful setting and the crowd, young and old, really enjoyed the concert.