November is the month for arts in Madrid

Two major festivals in Madrid this month are enough to keep any culture lover happy.

The first and biggest is the Festival de Otoño, an annual extravaganza of theater, dance, music, and even a trio of circuses. The plays are all in Spanish, but dance and music are universal languages so you can still enjoy this festival even if you don’t speak the the local lingo. The styles lean towards the modern and experimental, like the theater/dance fusion of the Belgian production Isabella’s Room about an old blind antiquities collector recounting a life lived through the highs and lows of the Twentieth century, or the multinational collaboration of Whale Watching Tour that fuses avant-garde experimental and folk music. One show to watch out for is The New Vietnamese Circus, which will portray life in a traditional village through juggling, acrobatics, martial arts, and music.

Another cultural highlight this month is the XXVI Festival de Jazz de Madrid. Jazz in Madrid? Yep, while it’s not as famous as Chicago or New Orleans, jazz is big here and there are a lot of cool venues that will be pulling out all the stops for this, the biggest annual jazz festival in Spain. There will be dozens of concerts at clubs around the city featuring artists playing all styles of jazz.

The Festival de Otoño runs from November 4-29. The XXVI Festival de Jazz de Madrid runs November 4-28.

Gadling Take FIVE: Week of Sept. 11-Sept. 18

Perhaps you noticed that Monday was Weird America at Gadling. Granted, it may seem that many days are weird at Gadling, but Monday’s post centered on the odd and unusual. Caves, squirrels, monsters, ghosts, mysterious structures, Superman, leaping postmen and a gigantic tire were part of the mix.

But that’s not all that showed up in our offerings. These are some you may have missed in the line-up.

  • In the middle of August, when my son, daughter and I became part of the masses that were visiting Venice, I wondered if anyone actually lived there. It was hard to tell. Katie’s post tells about one possible solution to the crush. Ban day-trippers.
  • If you’ve ever wondered what happens to planes once they’ve outlived their use, Scott has proof on one answer. Planes with the Mojave Desert make an interesting visual mix.
  • Reading Tom’s post on the reopening of the Sanctuary Swala in Tanzania is one way to develop travel envy. Although a stay there is not cheap, there are deals that can make a stay there within reach. Besides, wouldn’t this be a stay of a lifetime?
  • Although it may be too late to attend the Monterey Jazz Festival this year since it’s happening this weekend, this festival is one to put on next year’s calendar. Brenda details what makes the longest running jazz festival in the world so outstanding.
  • Here’s an event I’d love to attend. Jeremy gave a heads up to one of the most creative festival ideas. At the Sydney International Food Festival in October, each participating country’s flag will be represented by food in a way that also represents that country. How cool is that?

Here’s to hoping you’re having an outstanding weekend no matter where you are and what’s on your agenda.

In Monterey this fall: 52nd Monterey Jazz Festival

Something must be in the air in Monterey this fall, because there are so many anniversaries and celebrations it would be hard to pass up a trip to California’s coast to catch some art and culture with a little history mixed in.

This September 18-20, the longest-running jazz festival in the world will be held in gorgeous Monterey, California. The festival is what General Manager Tim Jackson deems as “an amalgamation of styles and genres.”

For over fifty years, the Monterey Jazz Festival has drawn the world’s best jazz musicians for a few days of music delight. This year is no different as it aims to please all types of jazz lovers and features such jazz greats as Wynton Marsalis on Saturday and Sunday nights and Dave Brubeck on Sunday night. More folky musicians like Pete Seeger and Susan Tedeschi will show off their special brand of jazz, while other rising stars will also perform: 23-year-old Esperanza Spalding from Portland, OR on Friday night and Kenny Barron on piano on Friday and Saturday nights. Jason Moran and the Bandwagon will present the premiere of “Feedback” on Sunday night.

Over 500 artists will perform on 9 stages for 3 full nights and 2 days of jazz. For tickets and a complete festival schedule, visit Tickets are also available by phone at #925.275.9255

So, how's N'awlins these days?

A couple of
days ago, I mentioned that the New Orleans Jazz
Festival fast approaches
— and I’m sure a healthy number of you thought I must have been kidding to suggest that a
holiday to New Orleans would be just what the doctor ordered.  After all, it was dessimated by Katrina,
remember?  Surely it’s not ready for company?

Well, apparently, it is. 

Budget Travel
Online is featuring a
first-person article by Adrien Glover of the state of New Orleans these days
— and the first descriptive word the
author used was "magic."  According to Glover’s friends, "no other city compared to home. Houston
was too big, Austin too clean, and Atlanta too far away. Rolling up their sleeves was the natural thing to do. NOLA’s
easy living has been replaced by a new, palpable sense of ownership of the city."

Glover continues by
saying that the good news is that New Orleans is pretty much back to normal.  Only half of the residents have
returned; however, there’s a hiring frenzy going on, and new businesses open daily.  So if you think you’d like to
give the tourist industry of the Big Easy a bit of a boost, be sure to check out this article
— it includes tips on where to stay and how to get around.