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Moving to the Beat – Banlieues Bleues

Every year in early spring, for the past 30 years Parisians have enjoyed a jazz festival that showcases all genres of the medium interpreted by artists from around the world. Known as the Banlieues Bleues, it takes place over about two weeks in multiple locations around the north eastern suburbs of Paris, Seine St Denis. The festival appears to have had a definite impact on the regeneration of the area which was a quiet residential area.

The festival brings together traditional and new styles of jazz from Afro Cuban to New Orleans to acid, blues, gypsy music and experimental jazz performed by both new and established artistes. In fact the festival is all about introducing all sorts of beats, blends and sounds and introducing new exponents of the genre who are encouraged to distribute their music at the festival. Not only is it an opportunity for festival goers to be introduced to new music and new interpretations of jazz standards, it is a platform for performers to present new compositions and for new performers to showcase their skills. Some performers in addition to displaying their musical virtuosity dress up their concerts with the use of costumes and dance. The festival noted for the high quality of its music is packed with superb musicians and provides a rare treat for jazz lovers. Jazz fans can attend individual performances of their choice or get a festival pass to see any three performances and get reduced rates for any other performance they may wish to attend. The staging of performances in multiple locations around the city allows festival goers to discover new cultural venues.

The Banlieues Bleues festival was created by a cultural association who bears the same name as the festival and received institutional and public support to make it happen. They are dedicated to the creation and dissemination of information on modern musical forms not only in regional neighbourhoods but at a national level and raising public awareness of the various types of jazz music.

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