April 10, 2005
Built in 1912, the La Vigie Villa was bought by Frank Jay Gould. His wife Florence entertained all the celebrities of the day there: Chaplin, Cocteau, Gide, and Estée Lauder, to name a few. Constructed in Art Déco style, the Provençal was one of the most elegant hotels in Europe. Le Juana Hotel was where Ella Fitzgerald, among others, stayed (today it is classified as a historical monument).
The temple of the International Jazz Festival, Pinède Gould, is to jazz players what La Scala in Milan is to opera singers. Two great jazz musicians, Jacques Souplet and Jacques Hébey, worked with the municipality to create the first Antibes Juan-les-Pins Jazz Festival in 1960, where they paid homage to the great man, Sidney Bechet. In Europe, this festival was a revelation. For the first time, audiences could see the famous jazz musicians live on stage. The festival later introduced to the European audience Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald and many others.
Now let’s return back to the Promenade du Soleil, where the bather (work of sculptor Grebel) enjoys Mediterranean sun. If you want to try your luck, then a few steps from here is the Eden Beach Casino.
Or you may choose a visit to the beautiful Exflora Park. On its five hectares of paradise, visitors will explore several distinctive areas, including ancient Rome, Riviera, Italian, and Moroccan.
From journal Sounds of Music on the French Riviera Shores