Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Memorial to Michel Petrucciani

Friday, January 18th, 2013
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Memorial to Michel Petrucciani by Edouard Detmer

Memorial to Michel Petrucciani
by Edouard Detmer
Photo by www.DiscoverParis.net

 

Michel Petrucciani was a French jazz pianist who was influenced by Duke Ellington at an early age and performed with Kenny Clark and Charles Lloyd. A memorial is dedicated to him at the intersection of rue Duhesme, rue Versigny, and rue Sainte-Isaure. Place Michel Petrucciani features a sidewalk mosaic dedicated to him by painter, sculptor, and life-long friend Edouard Detmer. The mosaic was inaugurated in 2003, four years after Petrucciani’s death.

 

Place Michel Petrucciani

Place Michel Petrucciani
Photo by www.DiscoverParis.net

 

Both the square and the mosaic were created thanks to the initiative of residents of the neighborhood, who wanted to embellish the then-unnamed square.

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Memorial to Django Reinhardt

Saturday, August 11th, 2012
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Memorial to Django Reinhardt

Memorial to Django Reinhardt
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

This column, called a Morris column, stands at place Django Reinhardt in the 18th arrondissement. Bearing the name of this famous jazz guitarist, the column and the place were inaugurated on January 21, 2010 in his memory.

In the July edition of our Paris Insights newsletter, I wrote about Reinhardt and the café in the adjoining town of Saint-Ouen that is dedicated to the type of music that he played.

To view a preview of the newsletter, click here.

Paris Insights is published monthly as a downloadable PDF file. It is available only to paid subscribers for an annual subscription fee of $30.

If you are not a paid subscriber and would like to download the newsletter, please click here. Enter promotional code 11473309154 to receive a $5 discount off the price of an annual subscription.

Bonne lecture!

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A Great Day for a Fourth-of-July Garden Party

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012
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Every year at this time the American ambassador in Paris holds a garden party at his residence to celebrate Independence Day. This year was no exception. Although rain was forecast, the weather turned out to be largely warm and sunny, with only a smidgen of rain. It was, then, a great day for a Fourth-of-July garden party!

The theme this year was American food, and there was lots of that!

I went to the corn dog stand and got two delicious corn dogs, one after the other, served with mustard.

Cord Dog Stand (in foreground)

Corn Dog Stand (in foreground)
Photography by www.DiscoverParis.net

Make Mine with Mustard

Make Mine with Mustard
Photography by www.DiscoverParis.net

Then, I made my way over to the beverage stand where I saw that three American beers were being served. I opted for the craft beer Blue Moon. Nice!

Three American Beers

Three American Beers
Photography by www.DiscoverParis.net

After the beer it was time for fried shrimp. I walked past the hamburger stand…

Hamburger Stand

Hamburger Stand
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Serving Hamburgers

Serving Hamburgers to an Eager Crowd
Photography by www.DiscoverParis.net

…and made my way to the fried shrimp stand.

Serving Fried Shrimp

Serving Fried Shrimp
Photography by www.DiscoverParis.net

Then, over to the Häagen-Dazs stand for some ice cream…

Häagan-Dazs Stand

Häagan-Dazs Stand
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

…where I ordered a MiniCup Macadamia Nut Brittle. I went back later for a Cream Crisp Cookies & Cream. Heavenly!

I had eaten my fill, so I could safely walk around and look at the desserts without feeling tempted for more. There was an American flag made out of colorful puddings. What a great idea! As people took the dessert, a server behind the counter would immediately replace the empty space with an appropriately-colored pudding.

American Flag

American Flag
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Then there were cookies and doughnuts…

Cookies and Doughnuts

Cookies and Doughnuts
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

And cheesecake…

Band Admirer

Band Admirer
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Oops! Wrong photo. And cheesecake…

Cheesecake

Cheesecake
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

And cotton candy…

Cotton Candy Stand

Cotton Candy Stand
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

A Fourth-of-July celebration wouldn’t be complete with flags, speeches, and music…

Bringing up the Colors

Bringing up the Colors
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

The official choir of the American Embassy, The Dip Notes, sang the “Marseillaise” and then the “Star Spangled Banner”. Great harmony, ladies!

The Dip Notes

The Dip Notes
Photography by www.DiscoverParis.net

Both American Ambassador Charles H. Rivkin and French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault gave speeches about the importance of French-American friendship in confronting the problems of our strife-torn world.

Ambassador Rivkin and Prime Minister Ayrault

Ambassador Rivkin and Prime Minister Ayrault
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

And finally, The Diplomats, the U.S. Naval Forces Europe band, played rock, funk, rhythm and blues, and pop.

Band Admirer

Band Admirer
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Oops! How did that photo get in again? Here is a picture of the lead singer belting out “Flash Light” by Parliament. Awesome!

The Diplomats

The Diplomats
Photography by www.DiscoverParis.net

It was a great day to be an American in Paris!

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We participate in Wanderfood Wednesdays. Head over there to explore food from around the world!

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Musicians in the Metro – Part II

Sunday, July 1st, 2012
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Don LaRue

Tim Puckett (left) with his group Don LaRue
Photo by www.DiscoverParis.net

Antoine Barret

Antoine Barret
Photo by www.DiscoverParis.net

In last month’s Paris Insights we looked at the selection procedure that musicians must go through if they want a permit to perform in the corridors of the Paris metro. This month we take a look at two of the musicians, one French, the other American, who went through this process.

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Paris Insights is published monthly as a downloadable PDF file. It is available only to paid subscribers for an annual subscription fee of $30.

If you are not a paid subscriber and would like to download the newsletter, please click here. Enter promotional code 11473309154 to receive a $5 discount off the price of an annual subscription.

Bonne lecture!

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Celebrating the Memory of Carole Fredericks

Thursday, June 28th, 2012
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Photo of Carole Fredericks

Photo of Carole Fredericks

Carole Fredericks was an American woman who moved to Paris in 1979 and achieved considerable success there as a singer. After her death in 2001, she was buried in the Montmartre cemetery. Yesterday, friends and acquaintances met in front of the apartment building where she lived, at 91bis, rue du Mont-Cenis in the 18th arrondissement, to celebrate her memory.

Daniel Vaillant - Mayor of 18e Arrondissement

Daniel Vaillant - Mayor of 18th Arrondissement
Photo by www.DiscoverParis.net

The Plaque

The Plaque
Photo by www.DiscoverParis.net

The mayor of the 18th arrondissement, Carole’s sister Connie Fredericks-Malone, Carole’s brother Taj Mahal, and the master of ceremonies Timothy Ramier, Esq., gave speeches about Carole’s life and how she has been an inspiration for so many. Following the speeches, a memorial plaque affixed to the wall of the apartment building was unveiled.

Taj Mahal and Connie Fredericks

Taj Mahal and Connie Fredericks-Malone
Photo by www.DiscoverParis.net

After the ceremony, a concert in Carole’s honor was given at the Centre Musical Fleury Goutte d’Or – Barbara. Among the performers were her brother Taj Mahal and her sister Connie. It was both a stirring and an inspiring event!

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Celebrating Darkness in the City of Light

Friday, June 22nd, 2012
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François Parisi and Cybèle Castoriadis

François Parisi and Cybèle Castoriadis
Photo by www.DiscoverParis.net

The annual Fête de la Musique was held in Paris yesterday, with musicians and singers appearing on street corners and in bars, pubs, and restaurants throughout the city to celebrate the beginning of summer.

For my part, I chose to attend a unique concert at the Bibliothèque des Litteratures Policières, where I heard Cybèle Castoriadis sing not happy, joyous songs that the official arrival of summer would occasion, but brooding, sinister songs about the darker side of life in Paris. Indeed, apart from the Paris Police Museum that stands only a few blocks away, there would be no better place to perform these songs but at the Bibliothèque des Litteratures Policières, a city library dedicated to the crime-thriller literary genre.

For over an hour, Cybèle, accompanied by accordionist François Parisi, regaled the audience with such French chansons as “Le Boucher de la Rue de Flandres,” about a butcher who turned to murder and deboned his victims; “La Vipère du Trottoir,” about a woman who willingly submitted to prostitution and betrayed her pimp, who, in turn, murdered her; “Le Chat Qui Miaule,” about a burglar whose victim is awakened by the meow of a cat and, consequently, gets strangled by the intruder. There were eighteen songs in all, and the topics seemed to get more shocking as the concert progressed. It was enough to send chills down one’s spine! Which is the point, of course, and is exactly what people seek when they pick up a crime thriller…or attend a cabaret to hear these songs performed.

I had a chance to speak briefly with the accordionist. He told me that he recorded two melodies for the soundtrack of the movie Midnight in Paris. Later, I searched his name on the Internet and found their names: “Ballad du Paris” and “Le Parc de Plaisir.” To hear a sample of his music, go to the landing page of his Web site. The melody “Annie-Zette” that plays immediately is a wonderful example of Paris musette at its best!

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Battle of the Bands in the Metro

Saturday, June 9th, 2012
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Whiskybaba

Whiskybaba
Photo by www.DiscoverParis.net

On Friday, May 4, I attended a concert in metro station Miromesnil where six bands competed for the opportunity to appear at the annual Solidays three-day mega-concert to be held in late June. One of the bands was Whiskybaba, whose on-stage antics made me smile!

I wrote about the concert in this month’s Paris Insights, a monthly newsletter that brings you insider information about culture, history, and contemporary life in the City of Light.

To view a preview of the newsletter, click here.

Paris Insights is published monthly as a downloadable PDF file. It is available only to paid subscribers for an annual subscription fee of $30.

If you are not a paid subscriber and would like to download the newsletter, please click here. Enter promotional code 11473309154 to receive a $5 discount off the price of an annual subscription.

Bonne lecture!

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Musicians in the Metro – Part I

Friday, June 1st, 2012
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La Réprise

La Réprise
Photo by www.DiscoverParis.net

Travelers to Paris who use the metro to get around the city will, sooner or later, come upon any of the 300 musicians who perform in its passageways. In April, we had the opportunity to attend an audition held by Espace Métro Accords, where we participated on a jury to help determine which of the competing musicians should be granted a license to play there. Read about how the selection process is made in this month’s Paris Insights.

To view a preview of the newsletter, click here.

Paris Insights is published monthly as a downloadable PDF file. It is available only to paid subscribers for an annual subscription fee of $30.

If you are not a paid subscriber and would like to download the newsletter, please click here. Enter promotional code 11473309154 to receive a $5 discount off the price of an annual subscription.

Bonne lecture!

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An Evening in the Company of Moussa Kanouté

Saturday, February 18th, 2012
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Moussa Kanouté

Moussa Kanouté
Photo by www.DiscoverParis.net

Moussa Kanouté is a singer and musician who hails from Senegal. We recently heard him play the kora (a 21-string bridge harp) at Sunugal, a restaurant in Paris that features Senegalese cuisine. As is often the case in African restaurants, one or more musicians will appear mid-meal and begin singing and playing traditional instruments. As we are dining more and more frequently at these establishments, we always look forward to this part of the evening.

We enjoyed listening to Moussa’s music so much that we asked the proprietor of the restaurant, Alpha Diallo, to put us in touch with him. We arranged to meet him at the restaurant on a Tuesday evening, so that we could have the opportunity to talk with him.

Before we met him, we didn’t know that Moussa was a griot—a singer and narrator in African culture—who was born into a family of griots. We learned that both men and women can be griots and that they perform a number of important functions in villages. The most important, perhaps, is the conveyance of oral history—they tell stories and communicate information about important events that occurred in the past. The role as a storyteller is an important one. It provides cohesion between the distant past and the present and helps carry forward traditions and customs.

Another role that griots perform is that of a counselor or facilitator in family and community disputes. They use their communication skills to explore ways to resolve conflicts among couples, family members, and neighbors.

Moussa has been playing the kora professionally since the age of ten. He told us that many members of his family play the instrument as well. I found information on a Web site indicating that Moussa was apprenticed to his grandfather, who taught him to play the instrument.

Moussa has traveled all over the world to perform, including West Africa, the United States, Japan, and Morocco. In San Francisco, a recording company engaged him to play for a CD that it wanted to produce. Called Dance of the Kora, it features not only his singing and music on the African harp, but also singers and musicians who accompany him on the soprano sax, the guitar, the flute, and other instruments. We find the lilting music of the kora compelling and uplifting, and Moussa’s singing reassuring. Samples of the recording can be found here.

Moussa has been living in France since 1983. He performs regularly in the evenings at Sunugal.

Moussa Kanouté
Tel.: 06.51.58.51.39

Sunugal
3, rue Crespin du Gast
75011 Paris
Tel.: 01.48.06.86.30
Open Mon to Sun 7:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.

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Music on the Metro

Thursday, February 16th, 2012
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Music on the Metro

Music on the Metro
Photo by www.DiscoverParis.net

This young man was playing what appears to be a hammered dulcimer on the metro a few nights ago.

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