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We were present for the return of the Nice Jazz Festival, a look back at this particular evening

While Christian Sands’ fingers run over the piano, festival-goers walk quietly towards the stands of Place Massena.

Many arrived early – some as early as 5pm! – to get the best seats for this new edition of the Nice Jazz Festival. Seated.

“We are not going to be choosy”

But at 8:45 p.m., a quarter of the seats remained unoccupied. A timid opening for a meeting that usually welcomes tens of thousands of spectators over the week.

The limit of 2,800 people, perhaps, or the seating arrangement, would have discouraged some? “I think it’s very good, but it’s probably a question of age”, quipped François, 79, who attended each edition “for about fifty years”.

For most of them, like Valérie, it is the pleasure of being able to attend concerts again that comes first.

“We are not going to be choosy. We are happy to find this atmosphere again, to see the musicians in real life on stage”, summarizes l’Azuréenne.

An opinion shared by the artists. “We missed you so much (we missed you so much)“, exclaimed Christian Sands, moved, before the end of his concert.

Rise in power with Catherine Ringer

After him, it is the keyboard and the voice of the Armenian Tigran Hamisan which come to accompany the crowd which thickens slightly, in a dreamlike jazz. Sometimes gentle, sometimes crazy, the pianist delivers an exhilarated musical performance to the point of recall, which he ends up standing, energetically hammering his last chords under the applause of the audience.

An atmosphere that has risen to a crescendo, with two mainly instrumental groups, designed for “best adapt to constraints” of this edition, says Frédérica Randrianome Karsenty, director of the festival.

And in the audience, a name is on everyone’s lips: Catherine Ringer.

The headliner of this opening, star of Rita Mitsouko, is greeted with a standing ovation.

Aurélie is listening “since’ [elle est] ado”.

A few steps away, Jeanne discovered her when she was little in her mother’s car and grew up with. The artist, intergenerational, is unanimous and concludes this first evening with thunderous applause.

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