The musician’s name was El Kado and it turned out that he was a self-taught guitarist from Lille who was playing at the Avignon Festival that year.
The crowd was so transfixed by his talent that an audience quickly built up. When a friend of El Kado strolled through the crowd selling copies of Al Andalus, his latest CD, we were among loads of people who snapped one up.
I’ve played the CD to death since then and have never tired of it. Even now, I only have to hear the first few bars of a track called Le Chant des Aures and I’m instantly transported back to the south of France, to sunlit roads winding past olive groves and lavender fields and evenings on our terrace under the plane tree.
Best of all, it’s just about the only CD that my entire family adores. And considering that my husband loves contemporary jazz, my son likes a band called Justice, my daughter is a fan of drum and bass and my favourite singer is Laura Marling, I reckon that’s no mean feat at all…