the FESTIVAL JAZZ A SAINT-GERMAIN-DES-PRES starts next week...most appropriately, i passed this pianist busking last night on my way to a little festival preview at Chez Castel (the exclusive sleazy club in St-Germain's rue Princesse--get the inside scoop on that from Petite Brigitte!)
fortunately the usual Castel crowd wasn't in residence: the labyrinthian basement was packed with musicians & journalists elbowing their way to the open bar where, to our ladylike disappointment, there was no champagne, only hard liquor. to go with the gin & tonics, waiters sidled around with plates of macaron cookies. i have no idea how this all connects to jazz, but we devoured the cookies while waiting for festival officials to finish their speeches...then New Zealander Aron Ottignon played piano. he's featured at the festival's closing night, May 17th, at the "nuit electro-jazz".