4. Paris Jazz Walking Tour: Dinner with Wine and Concert
On this 4-hour combined program you’ll start out with a walking tour and learn the history of jazz in Paris. The first stops are at 2 nearby cafés, Les Deux Magots and Café de Flore, which formed the epicenter for writers, intellectuals, and musicians. Jazz thrived in this open-minded circle of people.
Farther along you’ll see the former location of Club Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Because performances were held in the cellars of the clubs, jazz fans became known as troglodytes, or cave dwellers.
See the hotel where jazz greats Kenny Clarke and Bud Powell held late-night jam sessions after their gigs. Kenny Clarke’s bebop drum work changed the rhythm of jazz and allowed for greater exploration of the music.
Stop near the site of the former Tabou club, where French writer, singer, songwriter, musician, and jazz promoter Boris Vian performed in 1947. Vian was instrumental in introducing American jazz greats to the in-crowd of Paris.
Stopping near Pont Neuf, your guide will tell you about the jazz scene in Montmartre. The area, which once teemed with nightclubs, saw the development of the French chanson in the pre-WWI period. When jazz arrived in 1919, there was a clash between the traditionalists who admired the French chanson and those who preferred the new jazz style.
You’ll continue into the 5th arrondissement to the Caveau de la Huchette, the oldest jazz club in Paris. Bebop jazz pianist Bud Powell played in the now-defunct Chat Qui Pêche, a club that stood across the street from the Caveau. In the vicinity are 2 other historic clubs that still feature jazz. Trumpeter and jazz singer Chet Baker and blues singer Memphis Slim performed here.
Crossing the Seine River, you’ll make your way to the Châtelet district, and your final stop on the tour. There are several jazz clubs in this area, including Le Duc des Lombards, where you’ll enjoy dinner with wine, accompanied by a live concert.