Paris has played host to international jazz musicians since the roaring twenties and became a veritable movement in large part thanks to Josephine Baker who made the rounds singing in cabaret bars in Pigalle. From there, the genre's legends found a passionate, ready audience on stages across the city. Today, the old school jazz spirit lives on and is celebrated annually at Jazz à la Villette, Europe's leading jazz, blues and world music festival.
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Open-Air Summer Film Series at Parc de la Villette
With bakeries, shops and restaurants shuttering for the summer holiday, locals who aren't fleeing the coop are forced to get resourceful with their August activities. Fortunately, the city of Paris generously takes its residents' needs and entertainment into consideration (at all moments of the year) by organizing free, open-air cultural events across town. They can't guarantee afternoons and evenings suffused with light or sans rain but they understand the importance of keeping cultured when the beach isn't an option.
One of the highlights of each summer is the open-air cinema series at the Parc de la Villette in the 19th arrondissement. Movie fanatics gather at sundown with friends, a comfortable blanket and enough snacks to last the evening. Movies range from old French films to American blockbusters like Harvey Milk or The Social Network.
Even though Parc de la Vilette is home to the largest science museum in Europe, Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, it's the perfect spot to capture the first signs of springtime in Paris. On a chilly March day, these beautiful magnolias in bloom were proof that that warmer days were ahead.