Miroir d’Eau on the Promenade de Paillon, Nice. Photo: Mary Kay Seales

So fitting to start the Nice Jazz Festival with a tribute to the music that gave us jazz and the blues, the music of the African-American churches in the time of slavery, music of hope and redemption.

The concert opened with a call for a moment of silence for the victims of last year’s tragedy in Nice, followed by Grammy-nominated Melody Gardot, setting the mood with the Negro spiritual, “Wayfaring Stranger”:

“I’m going there to meet my mother. She said she’d meet me when I come… I’m only going over Jordan, I’m only going over home.”

The crowd on their feet at the Nice Jazz Festival. Photo: Mary Kay Seales

Then things got rocking with The London Community Gospel Choir, “Europe’s leading gospel choir,” whose stated mission is to encourage “unity, love and respect among all people through the arts and our faith in God.”

The crowd responded with feet dancing, hands clapping, and arms waving in the true spirit of a Black church. The spectators joined in on “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand” and on their final piece, “Oh, Happy Day.”

Looking out from the Promenade des Anglais. Photo: Mary Kay Seales

The Nice Jazz Festival continues on Monday with Herbie Hancock at the Place Massena stage at 11:00 pm. Tickets are still available, so if you’re in the area, put this on your to-do list now! For more information, go here: www.nicejazzfestival.fr/en

It’s pretty hard to beat cool jazz on a hot day on the Côte d’Azur.

Can I get an Amen!?

Spectators at the Nice Jazz Festival. Photo: Mary Kay Seales


  1. Amen!!! Been there done that and had a very memorable experience! Everyone was there including Louis Armstrong and Earl Fatha Ray.