As of this year starting July 2019, the XO Jam Sessions in Cognac, France will be officially included in the program of the festival www.bluespassions.com. You'll find information on the festival website at https://www.bluespassions.com/artistes/scene-libre/
The Jam starts at 14.30h and finishes at 17.00h From Friday 5 to Monday 8 July.
The new location in Cognac for 2019 is next to the restaurant L'Arty Show (beside the covered market) 23 Rue du Pont Faumet.
I hope you will bring as many musicians and friends as possible.
Our motto: "we keep the blues alive!"
Thank you to Christian and Giselle
Lastly, a massive 'thank you' to Christian and Giselle and the team at Café du Canton who were instrumental in providing the XO Cognac Jam Sessions with a home from 2006 - 2018. You have our undying gratitude and that of all those Bluesfriends from around the world who came and enjoyed your hospitality over the years. Bon voyage!
X0 Jam Session, the home of the "pilgrims" who worship the blues
The X0 Cognac Blues Jam Session is an institution on the fringe of the festival carried by enthusiasts
"We're back, like pilgrims!" Henri Van Raemdonck says in an accent from Antwerp. His religion is the blues. And to offciate at his mass, he carries a Hamond B3 organ from 1963. He sits until Saturday on the stage of the "XO Cognac Blues Jam Session", Place du Canton.
The open stage has become an institution on the sidelines of the eighteen-year-old festival that Van Raemdonk launched. It was hard at first, but starting in 2006, a core group of people formed themselves. René Van den Hoven is one of them. "Elsewhere, everything is done for money. Here, nobody gets paid anything!" says the Dutchman.
A dedicated website
The "XO jam Session" grows in strength. In recent years, it has established a real scene. Costs are shared between the Canton Café and the Olympia Crêperie. In 2018, the team added t-shirts and there is even an Internet site, https://www.xocognacjam.com "It was created for free by Altcom, an English web company run by a blues fan who came for the first time in 2017. On the website you can find the history of the Cognac Blues Sessions, in English, French and Flemish," smiles Henri Van Raemdonck.
"An international language"
Professional sound engineer, Bruno Van Reeth has brought top quality sound engineering to the sessions. A stream of musicians follow each other on to the stage. "It also depends on whether there are concerts going on neaby to them that interest them," says Christian Truffi, the boss of the Canton Café.
Everyone can get a look in. "Music is an international language. For Europe, this is an example, it shows that we can live together without problems," laughs René Van den Hoven. "Here, it's a big festival, the second blues in the world after Chicago. But there is also the possibility of playing for people like us. This does not exist elsewhere. When I see musicians, I want to play. Here, it's possible."
A loose translation of the original by Philippe Ménard