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21/08/2023 News

Access to culture and creativity with Jazz in Marciac

Sponsorship, music, and solidarity. Jazz in Marciac (JIM) is a jazz festival created in 1978 by a handful of enthusiasts at Marciac in the department of the Gers (Southwest France). It has become an unmissable international summer festival, taking place over three weeks, generally from late July to mid-August. Among the 6,500 spectators who attended the concerts (and 220,000 visitors) this year, more than a hundred were from local Pau-based associations that work essentially for the education and inclusion of young people, one of our Company’s priority focus areas. The idea is, with them, to make music a shared art form for populations who are excluded, restricted or live in remote areas. Each year, for dozens of their beneficiaries, the musical interlude to attend one of the prestigious concerts at Jazz in Marciac is an unforgettable experience.


“These tickets are a wonderful opportunity for our MNA youngsters (unaccompanied minors from the immigration process); even if this is not a priority angle in our different initiatives, open-mindedness and access to culture is important for them. It’s also a very festive moment, with a great atmosphere. The young people leave their daily grind behind, have a dance, then talk about it. And it brings a bit of diversity and youthfulness to the audience too!” jokes one of the people accompanying the group from Pau. "As a result, this moment was greatly appreciated. The feedback is very positive. They enjoyed the concerts, the atmosphere, and the discovery of this style of music for some. There were beautiful connections made both among themselves and with other festival-goers of all ages and backgrounds," commented a representative from the Temporary Accommodation Center (CPH). "From our perspective, the opportunity provided by the TotalEnergies Foundation to our audience is a chance for them to explore themselves in a different setting. This allows us to observe if they feel comfortable in this type of event, to assess their independence in our society (for example, if they are familiar with and understand certain social codes). Following the festival, we review a few aspects with them so that they can better comprehend and adapt to certain situations they might encounter," she further explained.


23 concerts over 12 days, and workshops

In addition to the legendary concerts proposed by the Jazz in Marciac organization team is a territorial, educational and cultural project that includes various actions to provide training, raise awareness of and educate in jazz music at the Aretha Franklin middle school in Marciac.

Although these workshops have enabled young people in the Gers to benefit from the insight of a great number of partners, particularly that of very high level musicians, for the past 30 years, “the aim however, was never to train elite professional jazz musicians, but rather help the students build their personalities by thinking outside the box, give them a taste for creation and consequently a thirst for freedom, and help them bring out the very best in themselves day after day,” explains Jean-Louis Guilhaumon, the President of Jazz in Marciac in his editorial: Dream, believe and build.


Learning to play an instrument is an opportunity for them to develop their perseverance, sensitivity and precision. An improvisation part encourages them to take initiatives, express themselves and gain independence. Giving concerts at other schools in the region or at local events are also real highlights. Playing as part of an orchestra is a way of starting to experience listening to others, and citizenship. It is to back this unique opportunity for young people to make the most of these advantages that TotalEnergies Foundation has renewed its support by accompanying these initiation workshops for an additional three years, starting in 2023.

The TotalEnergies site in Pau locally communicates on the different programs and initiatives supported by the Company’s Foundation on the following topics: Road Safety, Inclusion and Education of young people, Climate, Coastal Areas and Oceans, and Cultural Dialogue and Heritage. Its teams endeavor to get to know the local fabric as best as possible to deploy different public interest solidarity actions.