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From the Café Oz to the Baroc, Two Contrasting Paris Venues on a Tuesday Night

April 29, 2015

Café Oz Paris

Café Oz Paris

PARIS – Can there be any two open mics in Paris so different the one from the other as that of the Café Oz, Blanche, and the Baroc, in Belleville? Certainly last night it was a taste of something different in the same night, as I managed to play a set in each of them.

Got to the Oz early enough to get my name down fourth or fifth on the list. Went out to eat a fondu at the Savoyard restaurant down the street, then got back just in time to meet with an open-mic friend met in South Korea, in Seoul, at the open mic called, The Local – which no longer exists. He was passing through Paris and wanted to check out the local color here, and so we did the Oz and then had time to go to the Baroc.

A couple of Paris open mics with a difference at Oz and Baroc

To put it succinctly: The Oz, run by Brislee Adams, is a very classic open mic in a bar that caters to quite a few expats, but not ONLY expats. Brislee is very well organized, and he thinks about the needs of the moment: IE, last night he had lots of musicians so decided it was just two songs per musician, till we saw if there was time for more later. The level was really high when I was there, with all of the singers before me having very good, even exceptionally good, voices.

But I could not resist taking my friend – and his Korean girlfriend – off to the Baroc to have a taste of something different, and maybe a little more Parisian. It was a jam-packed night – no pun intended – at the Baroc, with its usual wide cross-section of performers and styles. The feel was completely chaotic compared to the Oz. The Oz tends to attract a young, serious kind of musician, whereas the Baroc attracts absolutely every kind of musician, from the young and serious to the old and decrepit. (Which is sometimes me.)

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