The 80-year-old Canadian singer is Friday for the first time on the poster of the jazz festival which aligns the stars: Roberto Fonseca, Van Morrison, Gilberto Gil, Herbie Hancock or Diana Krall.
“Singing where so many great musicians have played is exhilarating”: Paul Anka, the creator of My Waywaited until he was 80 to perform at Jazz à Juan, where George Benson, Herbie Hancock and Gilberto Gil are also programmed. “I have a very long relationship with France and the French and their music. Finally coming to Juan-les-Pins will be an intense moment”said the North American star in an interview with AFP from Los Angeles.
“I know a lot of festivals around the world. Juan is definitely in the top 3”added the author who, in 1969, adapted As per usual by Claude François, later taken over by Frank Sinatra. This native of Ottawa (Canada) who lived nearby, in Italy, in the 1950s, but is “never came to Juan, even as a spectator”will indeed succeed on July 8 in the Gould pine forest to monsters such as Charles Migus, Miles Davis or Ray Charles.
“Close to Charles Aznavour, Gilbert Bécaud and Johnny Hallyday” and Michel Legrand, “one of the greatest authors”but also of Michel Colombier, composer and arranger (of Gainsbourg or Polnareff) “with whom I have worked on several albums”Paul Anka, who will only choose his repertoire “only a week before”however, has a small idea of what he wants to reserve for the public.
Revival of the classics
“I will sing classics, My Way of course, jazz, as well as a tribute to Sammy Davis Junior, dear to the French public, and some of the first successes that allowed me to come to France at a very young age, like Diana et Destiny»added the Canadian who “spoke French at home” with his French-speaking parents born in Lebanon and Syria.
Busier than ever, Paul Anka, who still says he is “lover” films by Claude Chabrol and Roger Vadim, “finishing a new album, a TV show that will air in four or five months and the pre-production of a documentary about my life that a production company will make”.
Essential figure of jazz, initiated by Wes Montgomery, guitarist of Miles Davis in 1967 on the album Miles in the SkyGeorge Benson for his part makes a tenth visit to Jazz à Juan on July 6, since its first appearance in 1964. Stakhanovist of the scene with a hundred concerts a year, the author of the mythical Give Me the Night remains on a tribute album to two recent deceased, Chuck Berry and Fats Domino, released in 2019.
Now 79, the guitarist from Pittsburgh will have as usual in his dressing room, according to a close source, roast beef, ham and watermelon, cherry and cranberry juice but also “a bottle of the highest quality brut rosé champagne”.
For its 61st edition, the Antibes Juan-les-Pins festival, created in 1960 in homage to a famous Antibes by adoption, Sidney Bechet, is resolutely jazz with Rhoda Scott (July 8), Diana Krall (July 17 ) or even Herbie Hancock (18th) but is also expanding its range with American soul singer John Legend (10th) and Irishman Van Morrison (13th July). The festival is held from July 6 to 19, 2022.