Does Francophone Music Have a Place in the United States?

While Aznavour and Brel enjoyed their 15 minutes of fame in the U.S.A., musicians who sing in French still struggle to make it big across the Atlantic — unlike those who opt for English. French DJ David Guetta and the Versailles-born rockers from the band Phoenix won their first Grammy Awards for songs with English lyrics in 2010. The number...

In Search of the Franc-Comtois People of America

Billy Fumey dreamed of being a cowboy when he was a child, but the young man has actually become an American "emissary" for his native French region of Franche-Comté. Guitar in hand, he tours Missouri, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, following in the footsteps of the first Franc-Comtois settlers. The inhabitants of Besançon in Eastern France know that their city shares...

Johnny Hallyday, American at Heart

French singer Johnny Hallyday grew up with Elvis and Chuck Berry, and passed away on Wednesday, December 6, 2017, at the age of 74. "That’s where all the music I love comes from. From the blues," said this child of rock music and American culture in 1972. "His father is American, and his mom is French," said Line Renaud when...[Subscriber]

Emi Ferguson Brings the Music of Versailles to New York

Can you imagine if Lana Del Ray and Kanye West had sung at the court of the Sun King? It’s not as strange as you may think, as English flutist Emi Ferguson, professor at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, is giving 17th-century baroque music a second lease of life. Emi Ferguson spend her childhood summers in a...

Los Angeles Swings to Jazz by Django Reinhardt

The Lycée Français de Los Angeles is celebrating all things swing! The Lycée's Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz will be hosting the first edition of a festival in honor of renowned French jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt on June 17 and 18, 2017. Jean Reinhardt was born in Belgium in 1910, and his life could well have taken a turn for the worse....

Fiddles, French, and the Quest to Save a Forgotten Dialect

Dennis Stroughmatt didn’t like French at school. Despite this fact, the American musician and historian has become the sole guardian of a quickly-vanishing French dialect from Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. Today he is fighting to keep Illinois French alive by teaching seminars and playing concerts throughout the United States. France-Amérique: How did you come upon “Illinois French”? Dennis Stroughmatt: I...

The Musical Revival of Cajun French

Cajun French was forbidden in Louisiana until 1964. This dialect is a blend of French, English, Spanish and Caribbean influences, and is now being revived through the music of the Lost Bayou Ramblers. The band’s singer and violinist, Louis Michot, talked to us about his commitment to save Louisiana’s Cajun culture. France-Amérique: How did Cajun French arrive in Louisiana? Louis...

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Wax Tailor: the French DJ Hits the Road

The latest album from French DJ Wax Tailor, entitled By Any Beats Necessary, was designed in the style of an American road-movie soundtrack, and blends influences from jazz, rap, hip hop, blues and rock ‘n’ roll. The album was recorded in New York with a panoply of artists including Lee Fields, Tricky and Ghostface Killah from the Wu-Tang Clan, and...

Piaf! The Show, a Tour in Homage to Edith Piaf Stops by Carnegie Hall

Every evening at 8pm, Anne Carrere brings Edith Piaf back to life. Since January 2015, the French singer has played the leading role in Piaf! The Show, which looks back over the life of the “Little Sparrow” through her songs, already attracting nearly 500,000 people across 30 countries. The culminating point of this 400-date tour will be a live show...