Arts and Entertainment

  • Jazz In Marciac

Jazz In Marciac, an international jazz festival held for a fortnight in August in Marciac, a 13th century Gascon bastide town 15 minutes from Montesquiou,   currently attracts over 200,000 visitors a year (225,000 in 2010). It  is considered one of the most important jazz festivals in France. Started in 1978, has a long established tradition with the world greatest musician performing there. The names of Ray Charles, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Oscar Peterson, le Modern Jazz Quartet, Stéphane Grappelli, Buenavista Social Club , Sonny Rollins, Gerry Mulligan, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, Wynton Marsalis, Dianne Reeves and Diana Krall graced the marquee (‘le chapiteau’) capable of seating 5,000 with two concerts hosted there every night for the duration of the festival. There is free music from 11 am till 8 pm every day at the town square.

Marciac festival attracts merchants selling clothing, art and wares at huge open market that fills the square and the adjacent streets during the festival. Well-established and makeshift restaurants serve all conceivable cuisine, and jazz music spills on the streets from every bar and restaurant. Art galleries and fancy stores with whimsical French fashions provide great shopping opportunities.

  • Tempo Latino

Usually a tranquil town Vic-Fezensac comes to life every year in the month of July when the annual Tempo Latino festival is held. Known informally as the Salsa Festival, and the largest of its type in Europe, Tempo Latino showcases the very best of Afro Cuban, Latin and Salsa music accompanied by the wildest of dancers in colourful costumes. Get your dancing shoes on and head over to Vic-Fezensac!

  • Fêtes de la Madeleine

Organized by the l’Association du bœuf nacré de Gascogne,  Fêtes de la Madeleine are country fairs where Gers’ white cows, a superior breed called Madeleine, are displayed.  The fair is held anually in July in many villages, including Montesquiou where it grew to a big festival with a market, street celebrations, and outdoor dinner attended by the Mayor, the entire village and visitors.

  • Other Events

Thanks to the French government’s cultural and tourism-promoting grants, every district in France is provided with funds for arts and events; there are concerts of classical, operatic, jazz and pop music held in small towns and villages with participation of great performers. The calendar of events is exceptionally busy in the summer, with at least two evens happening every week in the vicinity of Montesquiou.

Montesquiou holds an annual outdoor jazz dinner party at the end of July, with the whole town, visitors and tourist attending.  A local orchestra and the bands heading to jazz festival perform in this event.

There are concerts and live-band performances in Bassoues, the village 6km from Montesquiou.

Several musicians reside in Montesquiou, including incredibly talented Denneulin family. Also, Montesquiou has a resident artist Ernst Carree who is completing an unusual project: drawing individual charcoal portraits of all Montesquiou residents. The portraits are permanently exhibited in Montesquiou Town Hall (including Klaus’s portrait). Ernst and his art were featured in French national television. Ernst’s late wife Annemieke produced beautiful hand-stitched quilts that have been exhibited in the art gallery in Mirande, and Ernst Jr. is a professional musician.

Chateau Lavardens has frequent art exhibitions, and there are night markets on Wednesdays during July and August. Their website has information on programme of events.