David Linx and James Baldwin Photo

A Night of Jazz and James Baldwin

David Linx, born in Brussels, is an award-winning jazz singer, instrumentalist, composer, and songwriter. He has worked with many notable musicians and one literary giant: James Baldwin (1924-1987). In the early 1980s, the teenage Linx met Baldwin and lived with the writer in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, near Nice. As the journalist Mike Zwerin later reported for the International Herald Tribune: “It all began when a 12-year-old David Linx, playing the drums in Amsterdam, heard that Baldwin was conducting a reading not far away. The combination of the rational and the emotional in Baldwin’s first novel, “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” had already been an early psychic wake-up call for him. Linx introduced himself: He had written fan letters (after the writer’s death, the family found them again). Baldwin later told the press about this wild white boy with the kinky hair. People sometimes ask Linx if he has African blood. A year went by before Linx summoned the courage to call Baldwin. He wasn’t sure he would be remembered. There were no objections when he said he would be arriving and he soon became a fixture at the author’s compound in Saint-Paul. Baldwin seemed to decide “I’m going to take care of this kid” from the start. One night in 1985, when he was 20, Linx was listening to Baldwin sing “Precious Lord” under a starlit Provencal sky. Trying pathetically and unsuccessfully to keep up with his hero’s prodigious drinking, he came out and said: “Let’s make a record together.” Just like that, Baldwin said yes.” Between September 1986 and September 1987, Linx, along with Pierre Van Dormael, recorded A Lover’s Question, which features narration and vocals by James Baldwin. The album was released to critical acclaim by Les Disques du Crépuscule in 1991 and later re-released by Label Bleu in 1999 in a version which includes the entirety of Baldwin’s poetry volume, Jimmy’s Blues (in English and French) and “Gypsy,” a narrative poem written for one of Linx’s birthdays.

David Linx is accompanied by Grégory Privat on piano and our very own Claire Parsons will join them on stage as a special guest.

The piano is provided by Pianos Kelly www.piano.lu


March 13th 2024 at 8 p.m.