Oct 30th, 2017, 12:35 PM

The Jazz Club for a New Generation

By Oliver Edward Ross Henry
Image credit: Flickr/jikatu
Not your traditional Jazz cave.

Paris and Jazz—lovers since the 1920's. This love affair has remained fierce throughout the ages, but recently, it's light hath grown dim. While jazz has progressed, modernized Paris has remained stagnant. Paris has chosen to preserve its crowded underground jazz caves, with corny jazz music, and hefty entrance fees. This type of jazz club is not compatible with the new generation, so then, where do you go to find the jazz of our generation?

The bar you're looking for has just opened on the border of Paris. Built in an abandoned train station, La Gare is a melange of underground street life and artistic eloquence. A long colorful path leads to the front entrance, where a disdained face covering the wall greets you. The interior of La Gare is quite spacious, with a choice of seating or standing areas. If you arrive early, the front is full of lush couches. During the band's intermission, feel free to head to one of the two terraces, enjoy a cigarette and converse with the predominantly French crowd.

La Gare markets itself as a jazz club, but it is much more diverse than that; it's music that overlaps a plethora of genres. They have a weekly schedule, with musicians on residency, but also a diverse range of other musicians coming and going sporadically.

Mondays: Electro Funk Fusion Night

Mondays are nights filled with intense instrumentals and crazed sound effects, as jazz and electronic conjoin as one genre. There are both younger and veteran musicians providing flavor to the already complicated style of music.

Tuesdays: La Jam du CNSM

Consists of various jam sessions performed by the students of Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. It's then followed by a meet-and-greet, so that young musicians in Paris can connect with each other. These student events will take place every Tuesday night for the remainder of 2017.

Wednesdays: Magic Malik Groovy XP.

Magic Malik is a flutist from Cote d'Ivoire, who has been enormously influential in French jazz since the 1990’s. He and his band will be playing at La Gare every Wednesday until the new year.

Magic Malik Orchestra "Saoule" (live officiel) | Archive INA

Thursdays: La Jam a Tao.

A jam session hosted by Tao Ehrlich with different musicians each week! An evening of professional and amateur musicians experimenting with improvisational jazz.


Fridays and Saturdays: Crowd Pleaser

Fridays and Saturdays are usually the most crowded nights. La Gare saves these evenings for the more prominent names in Jazz to play one or two shows. In the past few months these nights have featured, Riccardo del Fra, Manu Codjia, and Joce Mienniel.

Sundays: Hip-Hop Funk Jazz

112 Brass Band and Ultra Light Blazer fuse for a night some jazzy hip-hop at La Gare. Here you will find the makings of a jazz band, capped off with a rapper and some hip-hop beats. These bands also have residency for the remainder of 2017.

112 Brass Band - "Love On Top" Cover / "Don't Hold Back"

On a typical night at La Gare, the musicians begin playing at around 9.30 PM and finish around midnight, with the bar staying open until 2 AM. Though the station has since been abandoned, you can reach La Gare with metro line 7 towards Corentin Cariou or Porte de Villette, or Porte de Pantin on metro line 5. Admission into La Gare is free, and pints cost only 5€, so make sure to come and experience the musical diversity which La Gare has to offer.