Ellington fans know of course everything about Ellington’s visit to the Château Goutelas in Loire in February 1966 and the “Une poule sûr un piano” concert he gave there. The owners of the castle had invited him to inaugurate the completely renovated left wing.
The French film maker Laurent Lukic has made a film about the renovation and the many people – workers, artists, farmers and intellectuals – that gathered to help with the renovation. It premiered recently but is still not totally finalised.
However, the castle is fully restored and it is now an important cultural center with a rich program every year. This year, the French Ministry of Culture awarded it the label “Center for Cultural Exchanges”.
On July 9 2016, the Chateau de Goutelas celebrated that it is 50 years (plus some months) since Ellington made his visit with a full day program of presentations, concerts and activities of all kind.
Claude Carrière – the Ellington scholar, pianist, writer, record producer etc. and the initiator of Maison du Duke – and Laurent Mignard – trumper and founder/leader of the French Duke Ellington Orchestra – were featured artists of the event together with the Wenzo Trio and the saxophone player Franck Pilandon.
Videos with parts of the piano presentation of Claude Carrière and the appearances of the band with Laurent Mignard will be published in the part 2 of the article.
The photos and videos are courtesy of Mr. Hubert Delaye – a member of the organizing committée for cultural events at Chàteau de Goutelas (and a good friend of mine).
The castle is located in the middle of the Loire about one hour and a half west of Lyon following the A 89 and A 72 motorways.