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Tag: Music

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Johnny, France’s Good American

On December 6, 2017, the French lost their most popular countryman. Johnny was decried by the French elites but the workers adored him. He was our homegrown American. Whatever may think Paris’ lofty intellectuals who decry the United States, Johnny Hallyday was embraced by three generations of French people. Emmanuel Macron reflected this evident popularity when he declared that Johnny,...[Subscriber]

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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]

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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...

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Jazz, a Transatlantic Love Story

The arrival of the ocean liner Queen Mary II in New York harbor, on Saturday, July 1, marks the return voyage of the first American soldiers who fought in France during Wold War I, but also the birth of a new form of music, jazz. A number of African-American musicians took advantage of the French infatuation with this new American art form and...

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Where to Celebrate la Fête de la Musique in North America?

On June 21, 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 Cultural Minister 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 genre or skill level,...

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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....

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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...

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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...

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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...

The Soprano Who Could “Sing Everything Except Notes”

The movie Marguerite, currently on release in U.S. movie theaters, is based on the true story of Florence Foster Jenkins: an American opera enthusiast who sang impossibly out of tune, yet attempted an operatic career in the United States in the 1940s. The life story of this singular personality has been brought to the big screen by the French director...[Subscriber]