Monday 10th July 2017
AN ARTISTIC HISTORY
My usual residency at Le Monteverdi, 5-7 Rue Guisard, St. Germain Des Pres has rolled around again. Playing a selection of french chansons (with a strong english accent), jazz ballads, blues and my beloved obscure torch songs is alwalys a pleasure. Rue Guisard is a picturesque street in the heart of St. Germain.
Rue Guisard, St. Germain des Pres
This intimate and charming restaurant, was begun by Claudio, the grandson of the famed Italian Operatic composer. A portrait of the great man takes pride of place in the centre of the main room. Nestling in the beautiful setting of intricate streets, Le Monteverdi has a fascinating history.
THE CELEBRITY CLIENTELE
Marcello Mastrioanni was a regular client, and today many artists still come to dine and enjoy the ambiance. Film makers, actors, musicians, writers and tourists all are welcome.
The owner and chatelaine of Le Monteverdi is now Madame Valerie Balard who provides a convivial and relaxing atmosphere. Every week usually provides surprise events or artists. Last week I was joined by the powerful Gospel singer and longtime Paris performer Lynda Lee Hopkins, who sang a variety of soul and jazz numbers.
Personally as a pianist/singer it is truly a joy to play in settings that are beautiful and elegant in such a city as Paris. I remember playing the main theme from ‘Les Parapluies des Cherbourg’, a particularly romantic melody. At the front of the restuarant the doors were open to the terrasse and the rain was pouring down. As I played, (the piano can be heard clearly in the street, a passer-by pulled his girlfriend into his arms and kissed her passionately). It was a testament to the excellent taste and romance of the moment. Yes, when couples begin to kiss, my work is done.
For those in the quartier do come in and enjoy some music and perhaps a glass of Champagne…