Autumn Jazz

France has so much to offer travelers from exquisite wine and cuisine, to rich art and entertainment.  Since the early 20th century, one of the most impactful features of French culture has been jazz.  Providing inspiration for artists, writers and poets alike, the art form has blossomed into a well-respected and even revered form of musical expression.  While summers in France are known for celebrating jazz, and its culture, with hosts of festivals, the onset of fall doesn’t mean that the music cools down a bit.  In fact, some of the most unique jazz festivals inFrance take place after August comes to a close.

One of the country’s most diverse music festivals, Jazz à la Villette kicks off in Paris on August 31 and will run through September 11.  The festival presents an array of genre-bending acts, infusing the tenets of hip-hop, funk, and jazz into their performances.  This year’s lineup includes a breadth of performers ranging from jazz and funk mainstays Archie Shepp and Maceo Parker to modern jazz pioneers Martin, Medeski, and Wood and hip-hop soul infusion, Questlove’s Afro Picks, featuring Questlove and Macy Gray.

Moving south, the Burgundy region hosts the 11th edition of Jazz à Beaune.  The events will take place in two parts, beginning with performances en plein air on the 17th and 18th of September, and closing with club sets on the 13th, 14th, and 15th of October.  Jazz à Beaune will feature some of the best up and coming jazz acts alongside notable international performers, and, of course wine tastings will coincide with each of the performances.

With the first edition having wrapped up in June, this year’s second installment of Quai Jazz brings us back to Paris as the city hosts some of the best young talents in France.  From September 20 to October 1 the festival brings performances to jazz bars and clubs throughout Paris and even some outdoor sets along the Seine.  Featuring Cataclysm Box, Leila Olives Quintet, and Samy Thiebault, Quai Jazz has an offering to suit any modern jazz lover.

The summer may be coming to a close, but all across France the music continues in full swing.  Complement your travels in France by taking in some of the world’s best live jazz and celebrate one of France’s most notable traditions as it continues to grow.

VBT Supports the Ramapo Rally

Ramapo Rally, VBT Bike ToursThe 34th Annual Ramapo Rally will take place on Sunday, August 14, at the Campgaw Ski Area in Mahwah,NJ.  Sponsored by the Bicycle Touring Club of North Jersey, last year’s rally attracted over 1,000 riders.  This year’s rally will provide six distance offerings.  Suiting every cyclist from novice to expert, participants can choose from 125, 100, 62, 45, 25 and 12 mile options.

Northern New Jersey’s tree-lined roads, scenic lakes, and rural farmland will look familiar to part-time Vermonter and Director of Marketing at VBT, Paul Williams, who will be manning the VBT tent at the Ramapo Rally.  This will be VBT’s third year supporting Northern New Jersey’s premier bicycling event and we are thrilled to be providing the event’s Grand Prize this year.  Drawn from all 1400 rally participants, the winner will receive an all expense paid trip for one to Tuscany, courtesy of VBT!

Since 2007, the event has donated a portion of its proceeds to Camp Sunshine, a facility for disabled children and young adults based in Ridgewood,New Jersey, and we’re excited to be a part of it again.  So whether you’re a former VBT traveler, you’re thinking about planning a getaway with us or you’re just curious about our deluxe bicycling and walking vacations, stop by the VBT tent and say hi to Paul.  We hope to see you there!