Fête de la Musique

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE -

In France, June 21 is the long­est day and her­alds the com­ing sum­mer. Since 1982, June 21 has also been cel­e­brated as Fête de la Musique – World Mu­sic Day.

This event, open to am­a­teur and pro­fes­sional mu­si­cians of all gen­res and styles, is an op­por­tu­nity to per­form in pub­lic in front of friendly and hope­fully, for­giv­ing crowds. Mu­sic hap­pens ev­ery­where from the big city sub­urbs to the small­est vil­lages.

Here, on the other side of the world, Al­liance Francaise in Palmer­ston North has grown its own win­ter Fête de la Musique tra­di­tion. This year, while not held on the ex­act day, or­gan­iser Is­abelle Poff-Pen­cole says the lo­cal Fête is in the spirit of the north­ern hemi­sphere oc­ca­sion.

Along with vis­it­ing guest per­form­ers, the event show­cases the di­ver­sity of the lo­cal French­s­peak­ing com­mu­nity, while pro­mot­ing all styles of French mu­sic from rock and jazz, to chan­son, opera, po­ems, and tra­di­tional songs.

The singers and mu­si­cians will be en­ter­tain­ing for free from 3pm to 10pm in City Li­brary on Ge­orge St this Satur­day June 18.

Head­lin­ing the seven hours of per­for­mances is the Welling­ton­based duo of Rachel France and the Phoenix Foun­da­tion’s Tom Call­wood. To­gether they are Sans Souci – French for ‘no wor­ries’.

In the evening, the pair with Rachel on ac­cor­dion and vo­cals and Tom on gui­tar, will be pay­ing trib­ute to the songs of Edith Piaf, bring­ing all the sense of love, loss, pas­sion and dra­matic flare the pe­tite chanteuse was fa­mous for. Ex­pect a set full of of poignancy, play­ful ar­range­ments and repar­tee.

Sans Souci will be joined by lo­cal band The Weird Prophets, fronted by Em­manuel Yian­nout­sos, and a group called Les Bon­hommes de Neige (The Snowmen).

Ear­lier in the day there will be chan­son by Pas­cal Fran­cois, French opera from Vir­ginia War­brick, folk from Bruce Thom­son, clas­si­cal pi­ano by Mar­ius Hoff­man, and items from lo­cal Al­liance Francaise choral groups. Get­ting the af­ter­noon un­der­way soon af­ter 3pm will be an ex­tended per­for­mance by a choir from Wan­ganui Col­le­giate School.

Af­ter­noon tea, and later, a light sup­per will be served, with more Fête de la Musique de­tails at french.org.nz/fe­circte-de-la-musique.html

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

‘No Wor­ries’’ with Rachel France on ac­cor­dion and vo­cals, with gui­tarist Tom Call­wood. The duo Sans Souci are spe­cial guests from Welling­ton for Feˆte de la Musique in City Li­brary on Satur­day.

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