Et ça swingue aux Sarziers


When we found Les Sarziers 30 years ago, Kate fell in love with the spectacular view over the Doux Valley and I a was taken by the enclosed courtyard of the house.

Last Sunday 150 people shared our love of Les Sarziers by first having a drink in the garden and then moving via dinner under the horse chestnut tree to the courtyard for our annual summer concert.

We organised our first summer concert five years ago and since then had on average a audience made up of friends of around 60 to 80 people.

Last Sunday the number of spectators doubled and there was a slight flair of Woodstock in the air. Not really surprising as we had invited 8 musicians and 2 professional dancers to join me (on the trumpet) and Kate (singing).

The programme was made up of music to dance to from the Golden Age of American Jazz. Tunes that everyone can hum along with, like “Ain’t misbehaving”, “Bei mir bist Du Scheen”, “After you’ve Gone”, “Why don’t you Do Right”, “It don’t mean a Thing” etc.

Towards the end Les Sarziers Junction became Tuxedo Junction and the dancing spread onto the “stage”. The weather could not have been more perfect and the full moon accompanied us all along.

Many thanks to my sister Vreni and my brother-in-law Jürg for setting up and helping with the logistics of catering and of course thanks to “my Band” of the night:

Linda Gallix (Keyboard), Kate (Voice), Emilie Blache (Voice), Jean-Pierre Almy (Tuba, Bass, Harmonica), Nicolas Thé (Drums), Anthelme Millon (Guitar), Manu Falguière (Cornet), Hans Verschoor (Trombone), Thomas (Washboard), Christophe and Arnaud (Bass), Jean-Yves and Ashley, who joined us spontaneously on a couple of numbers and of course Jean-Phi and Emilie for their dance demos.


Photos by Sabine Carlier and Brice Banchet

11 thoughts on “Et ça swingue aux Sarziers

  1. You make me happy when you write reports like this one: when my friends are happy I am happy. Supporting friends when they are experiencing troubles is good, but truly sharing their joys is even a better proof of friendship, I think. And watching the pictures of that summer evening of jazz made me feel all the excitement and joy and happiness you must have felt. It seems like a dream come true: Kate singing, Markus playing the trumpet, whet else could make you more happy? I wish I could have been there, you know my childhood was craddled by jazz music, my father being a true jazzman, he played the piano by instinct, only Jazz, and all this songs you mentionned I know well, even the words:
    “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing, bada, bada, bada, ,bada ,bada, bada ( Duke Ellington) ”
    “Ain’t misbehaving, saving all my love for you, like Jack Horner (?)
    on the corner, don’t go nowhere, what do I care, your kisses are worth waiting for, believe me…” You see, I know my classics.
    Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday… Louis Armstrong, Coleman Hawkins, Johnny Hodges, Illinois Jacquet, Ben Webster, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Gets, Charlie Byrd, Chet Baker…
    Teddy Wilson, Art Tatum, Errol Garner, Fats Waller…
    Duke Ellington, Count Basie, the modern Jazz Quartet, Lionel Hampton….
    And so many, many, many more great talented artists…
    I have in the basement a collection of old breakable records, “78 tours”, all originals from the thirties, forties, fifties… and in great condition, my father worshipped them like “la prunelle de ses yeux”, and took great care of them, I probably have two hundred of them, we should listen to them one day( it will take us at least a week…)
    My father played piano or listened to Jazz records all day and even all night.He could perfectly play a record at one o’clock in the morning, we all loved it, my mother and all the seven kids, no one ever complained,we enjoyed it so much.
    We lived in a completed deserted area and in the middle of the night he could put the loud speakers out on the terrace, turn them on full blast and walk down the hill to listen to the music from far away in the valley, he did that specially with the famous record “The Cat” of an organist from the sixties, Jimmy Smith.
    My brother Christophe inherited my father’s musical talent and at three years old started to play the guitar and is now a professional brazilian guitar player. When they both played together it was pure enchantment… All that is over now and looking at your pictures brought back all those moving memories….
    I’m so happy you can fully enjoy your talent and share it with your friends, 150 spectators is just unbelievable, how exciting…
    I hope you recorded that event and that we will be abble to share it with you. Let me know…
    I miss you tremendously.
    Le Dédé

    1. Très cher Dédé, Thank you for your lovely comment and for sharing your memories with us. The power of music is amazing isn’t it? We must get those old 78’s out one of these days and have a listen. Stay well and happy. We miss you too!

    1. We are really looking forward to your visit – so much to see and do! I’m sure that Becky and Co are having a great time; now that the heatwave is over it’s perfect weather for camping.

  2. Oh, that looks such fun – but a lot to organise, never mind performing! It is going to grow into a famous summer Festival at this rate. Well done to all. x Lesley

  3. Such brilliant atmospheric photos really capture the spirit of your fantastic evening. Such a brilliant location and the weather and the moon caught the mood brilliantly too.

  4. ..transported in a moment to a courtyard in an old French house on a summers evening….and left pining like a lover for a life I loved and miss.
    PS I LOVE the Eurostar ads in the previous blog! I guess it says it all….

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