LITTLE BIG PORTRAIT of JEAN RENE PALACIO
Al Jarreau, Monte-Carlo Jazz festival 2016 @ SBM
Angélique Kidjo, Monte-Carlo Jazz festival 2016, @ SBM
Rod Stewart, Monte-Carlo summer festival 2016, @ SBM
Our questions to JEAN RENE PALACIO
Which place do you find the most inspiring in Monaco?
The casino square, as it is really the heart of the principality.
Your favourite restaurants ?
Elsa, in the Monte-Carlo Beach, with the chef Paolo Sari and also the Blue Bay, in the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel led by the chef Marcel Ravin.
Your secret to stay in shape?
Walking in the Larvotto every morning and admiring the beautiful landscape.
One of your little daily pleasures ?
Admiring the Mediterranean sea every morning
A local artist you admire ?
Jean-Christophe Maillot, choreographer and director of the Monaco ballet and also the painter Philippe Pastor.
Your secret addresses to share with our Little Big Monaco reader?
Gerhard’s Café on a Thursday evening!
Artistic director of the Monte Carlo SBM, Jean-René Palacio brought Jazz & Rock to the Salle Garnier and would like to keep renewing the jazz public
His office is located backstage of the famous “Salles des Etoiles” that saw many artists including Frank Sinatra. On the wall, plenty of black and white pictures of all the artists who have performed on this stage: Stevie Wonder, Shirley Bassey, Tina Turner, Elton John, etc. We imagine how crazy and hectic his life must be, but the director artistic of the Monte Carlo SBM group with a rock star look, appears calm and serene.
Jean-René Palacio’s work is a balancing act. He is juggling from concert to concert and from festival to festival. He must attract the casino players as well as the residents from the principality and its neighboring cities, a Riviera public known to be difficult. There is also of course the necessity of profitability with Monaco having only small venues comparing to what can be found in other cities. But Jean-René Palacio is crazy about music and is keen to implement ambitious and innovative projects. Like the unforgettable concert of Prince in 2009 in the very traditional Salle Garnier, or the concert of Iggy Pop in front of the prince’s palace in 2011.
Jazz à Vienne
Born in Algeria, a country that his family will leave before the war, Jean-René Palacio grew up in Vienne (Isere), a predestined place for the future founder of the Montecarlo Jazz Festival, since this is where the famous « Jazz à Vienne » festival takes place. He actually started as a volunteer for the festival working with his founder Jean-Paul Boutellier. « I always knew I wanted to be in the music business, but as I was not a good enough musician, I became artistic director instead». His favorite artists were Hendrix, Otis Redding, Ike and Tina Turner, then The Who, Led Zeppelin, the Stones and Pink Floyd. Without forgetting the King, of whom he has a picture in his office. After studying political science just to please his parents, Jean-René Palacio became radio host at France Bleue Grenoble, TV presenter of a rock and jazz show on France 3, before managing the Summum, a venue of 8000 persons in Grenoble. He hears in 1998 that the SBM is looking for its artistic director. « At the time there were only 2 venues and one summer festival in Monaco.»
Bringing Jazz to the salle Garnier
In 2006, he created the Montecarlo Jazz Festival in the Salle Garnier, which was not a traditional venue for Jazz music, and the event became unmissable. « Jazz concerts in a traditional venue for classical music was nothing new- The producer Norman Granz was already doing it in the 50’s». The Principality public was quite surprised at the beginning - admits Jean Rene Palacio. This festival is now a classic of the autumn programming and has already welcome famous names of Jazz such as Marcus Miller, Al Jarreau, Chick Corea or Ibrahim Maalouf. « I would like to create an off stage during the festival in the Bar Americain- and contribute to renew the jazz public.
Let's not forget Rock!
After Jazz, the Salle Garnier now welcomes Rock’n’roll since last year with British bands such as Caravan or Cock Robin. «The idea is to have older rock bands but also new electro bands to bring in a new sound». While he is waiting to announce the concert list of the Sporting Summer Festival, Jean-René Palacio is working on the second Megeve Jazz Festival that will take place from 30th march to 2nd April 2017 and for which he is also the Artistic Director. In his spare time, he also plays the same role for the «Jazz à Juan festival» that takes place every year in July. We still hope he manages to take a few days off…
Caravan, Monte-Carlo classic rock 2016, @ SBM
Salle des étoiles du Sporting, @ SBM
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