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Tag: Music

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Oh les Filles: Meet the Badass Women of French Rock

What if rock was not born with Elvis Presley, but with Edith Piaf? This is the starting point of the toe-tapping documentary Oh les Filles, presented at Cannes in 2019, which tells the story of French rock through its female leaders from Françoise Hardy to Charlotte Gainsbourg, Vanessa Paradis, Lou Doillon, and Christine & The Queens. Ahead of the broadcast...

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The Eddy: Damien Chazelle’s Jazz Show

With the miniseries "The Eddy," available from May 8 on Netflix in France and the United States, the director of "La La Land" has set his sights on Paris and the darkness of a jazz club. Gone are the sun-kissed palm trees and upbeat dances by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. In this eight-episode series, French-American filmmaker Damien Chazelle has swapped...

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Sur un Air de Violon: Francophone Musicians in Louisiana

Fifty years ago, the far-flung countryside of southwest Louisiana was filled with French Cajun and Creole songs. From open-air dances to family homes, these country, blues, and rhythm-and-blues melodies were the soundtrack to several generations. This musical culture has been showcased in a black-and-white album by photographer Ron Stanford, who lived with these Francophone musicians from 1972 through 1974. In...

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I Love You, Mon Amour: Ten Legendary French-American Couples

The following portraits are of artists, designers, writers, diplomats, and actors. Half are French, half are American. And all of them are in love! In celebration of Valentine’s Day, France-Amérique has taken a closer look at ten legendary French-American couples whose passionate or thwarted romances have gone down in 20th-century history. Juliette Gréco & Miles Davis Miles Davis could well have...

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La Fête de la Musique: How France’s Annual Musical Jamboree Enchanted the World

Amid doubts about how many people will turn out for the next round of Yellow vests demonstrations, I can make one prediction with absolute certainty: thousands will take to the streets of France on June 21, carrying nothing more than guitars, trumpets, drums, kazoos, and all sorts of music-making paraphernalia. They will be celebrating la Fête de la Musique, an...

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Lara Fabian: Francophone by Heart, Quebecer by Adoption

With a 30-year career and 20 million albums sold across the world, Lara Fabian is an icon of Francophone music. As part of her 50th birthday celebrations, the Belgian-Canadian artist will be kicking off an international tour with more than 50 dates, beginning in New York on September 16. The tour — christened the “50 World Tour” — follows on...

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Acoustic, the Go-To Show for Francophone Music Lovers

The weekly TV show Acoustic has been TV5MONDE’s leading musical fixture since 2002. Presented by Sébastien Folin, the 26-minute production showcases Francophone artists in special studio sessions. The best-of compilation of the 2018-2019 season will be broadcast on June 20, 2019, to celebrate World Music Day. France-Amérique: What sets Acoustic apart from other French music shows? Sébastien Folin: Acoustic is a show made for...

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“Cajun Music Has its Place in America!”

Just a few miles from Lafayette, Louisiana, six musicians are putting their all into passing down the heritage of the French language and Cajun music. Their band, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, was formed in 1990 by brothers Louis and Andre Michot, and received a 2018 Grammy Award for Best Regional Roots Music Album. Director Bruno Doria has made a "rockumentary"...

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Robert Doisneau, of Music and America

He “captured the Gallic spirit” like no other. As part of the release of the book Robert Doisneau, Music and an exhibition about the photographer at the Paris Philharmonic, France-Amérique takes a closer look at Robert Doisneau’s photo reports in the United States. Le baiser de l’hôtel de ville symbolizes the romanticism of Paris during the 1950s. This photo taken...

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“Maria by Callas” in U.S. Theaters

In this documentary made using never-before-seen archive footage, out in the U.S. on November 2, French director Tom Volf pays homage to opera singer Maria Callas, who was born to Greek parents in New York in 1923 and passed away in Paris at the age of 53. The cantatrice who won the hearts of opera enthusiasts and the general public...

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Aznavour, the “French Sinatra” in America

The renowned French singer passed away on October 1, 2018, but his influence had long since stretched beyond France, his native country, and Armenia, the land of his ancestors. He was known as the “French Sinatra” in the United States, where he represented a romantic and slightly old-fashioned image of France. Charles Aznavour should have been American. But his Armenian...

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Crossing the Line: Thought-Provoking Performances in New York

From September 18 through October 13, the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) presents Crossing the Line Festival 2018, the 12th edition of its critically acclaimed interdisciplinary showcase for avant-garde creative talents from around the world. The wide-ranging, thought-provoking lineup includes What Remains, a collaboration between choreographer Will Rawls, poet Claudia Rankine, and video artist John Lucas that explores the effects...

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Françoise Hardy, Aging Gracefully

She is the face of 1960s French pop. At 74, Françoise Hardy is also a style icon, and her (almost) tell-all autobiography has finally been published in English along with the release of a new album. Some evenings in the Parc de Bagatelle in the heart of the Bois de Boulogne, a tall, elegant, white-haired woman with an androgynous silhouette...

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A Movie About the Lost Bayou Ramblers and the Rebirth of Cajun French in Louisiana

A documentary project about the Cajun rock band The Lost Bayou Ramblers has been awarded the French Culture Film Grant by the #CreateLouisiana industry-building initiative and the TV5 Monde television network. “On va continuer !” (We will go on!). These words conclude every concert played by The Lost Bayou Ramblers. The sound of his instrument is still resonating when Louis...

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1918, the Beginnings of Jazz in France

During World War I, Afro-American musicians posted to France popularized a new form of music. This “syncopated ragtime” was the beginning of jazz. An exhibition organized at the New Orleans Jazz Museum through November 15, 2018, takes a look back over this period. “Here, on February 12, 1918, the first jazz concert was played on European soil.” This declaration is...

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Where to Celebrate la Fête de la Musique in the U.S.?

On the first day of Summer, 750 cities in 120 countries will participate in Make Music Day, or "Fête de la Musique." Originating in France, this festival was created by French Minister of Culture Jack Lang in 1982 to be an annual celebration of music in its most welcoming form. Free for the public and open to musicians of any...

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Beyoncé and Jay-Z Shoot New Music Video at the Louvre

American stardom reaches France’s doors once again as Beyoncé and Jay-Z drop a surprise album and shoot the music video for one of their songs, "Apes**t," at the Louvre Museum in Paris.  The power couple took over the French museum. They posed in front of the Mona Lisa, and stood on the Daru staircase. Part of the video is filmed in...

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Gaël Faye: From Rapper to Best-Selling Author

French-Rwandan author Gaël Faye sat down with the New York Times in Paris. He discussed his childhood in Burundi, the outbreak of the civil war and his escape to France, the beginning of his rapping career and his lucky encounter with French editor Catherine Nabokov, and the success of his autobiographical novel, Petit Pays (Small Country), which was translated in...

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Does French 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...

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“Django”: Reinhardt Unchained

The first feature-length movie from Etienne Comar, out in U.S. theaters on January 5, portrays a little-known episode in the life of the great Romani guitarist Django Reinhardt. During the Nazi occupation of France in 1943, Romani jazz musician Django Reinhardt (Reda Kateb) got Paris on its feet at the Folies Bergère music hall. When the German propaganda department decides...

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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...