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Boppin’ from Prague to Paris

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Becky and I just returned from a great trip where we traveled from San Francisco to Prague and then took a river cruise through Germany, and then ended with a few days in Paris.

I was really impressed how much these countries loved jazz and folk music. It was also my privilege to hear live music everyday for two weeks. It was fun in German to go to a museum dedicated to mechanical instruments.

So I’m going to vary from my usual column about audiophile topics and share some pictures and comments on all the live music I heard for two weeks in May.

In Prague, Becky and I went to hear traditional folk music. I heard instruments I had never heard before live. I heard wonderful singing and beautiful dancing.

It was a wonderful evening of food, great music and fun. It made no difference that we didn’t speak the language. It seems that the language of food, music, dance and fun are the same the world over.

One of the things that amazed me was how the people in the villages of Germany could turn places like the bridges above into stages for really good music. I grew up in America in a similar size village to many of these. I never remember such spontaneous public music, especially on a week day. Most of this village music was either jazz or blues, but there was the organ grinder pictured above with his stuffed monkey.

As I mentioned above about visiting the Mechanical Instrument Museum in Germany. It was truly fascinating how beautiful and dynamic some of these instruments sounded. I was also surprised to hear mechanical instrument driven by steam that played almost every instrument in an orchestra, including violins. Hope the pictures give you a small insight into how fascinating these instruments were.


This was my second trip to Paris and I continue to amazed at how they love Jazz and how much great music can be hear for free in the Latin Quarter any day of the week. We have street musicians in Paris, but very few of them draw much of a crowd for very long. The only city in the USA I know of that has this kind of street music is New Orleans.

Not all the great music is free though. There are some great and historic jazz clubs in Paris.

One night we went to the Petit Journal Montparnasse to hear a band called Sweet Talkers Blue Band. They were an incredible combination of Blood, Sweat and Tears; and early Cream. We got two hours of incredible music. If you ever get a chance to hear great live music every day or night for two weeks, I highly recommend it!

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2 Responses to Boppin’ from Prague to Paris

  1. Richard Austen says:

    Great write-up Jack – love the pictures. One day I will have to get back to Paris.

  2. Tim says:

    Must be nice…:)

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