Friday, October 14, 2005

musicians from France maintenant! Benoit, rappers, Spanish celtic . . .

As I picked up D 'de Kabal and Spike, two rappers from Paris tonight at the airport, the excitement from last years tremendous performances of Sur Seine festival returned to my memories vividly. It was an amazing time listening to the numerous musicians from France, England and across the U. S. in collaborations with Minneapolis musicians, and it is increasingly difficult to consider for the future with the inconceivable rigors people had to go through with VISA's and transports due to increased homeland security.

There is so much to see no matter what genres of music you love: celtic, hip hop, free jazz, electronic, gypsy jazz, world percussion . . . it's spectacular. Arriving from airport at the host's house over wine and dinner, seeing clarinetist Francois Corneloup and pianist Tony Hymas, music journalist Olivier, and legendary magnum photographer Guy LeQuerrec again this year was heartwarming. I lament that I didn't learn French by this time of year, as I'd vowed last year, being a driver for French musicians for these events. Certainly not necessary, but desirable for me to sink into this world deeper.

Words cannot express the beauty and transcendence of this music. All I can do is say, GO! Look at the schedule, find something intriguing, experiment, experience one night, and tell me if I'm wrong, that this is likely one of the best music nights you'll have all year, made all the more poignant by our borders getting tougher to cross all the time, if for example you were a protester in the '60's or simply made music with some from here, or weren't in one particular band for the entire past year! Seriously. But that's another discussion. Revolutionary '60's jazz innovators Evan Parker and Francois Tusques will be here (Tusques nearly didn't make it, but he's here to play with his new inspiration double bassist Adam Linz of Fat Kid Wednesdays, Wednesday at St. Paul's Zeitgeist Theater (275 East Fourth Street, Suite 100).

Meeting playful, passionate Benoit was sheer joy. He plays tonight, Friday at 7 pm at Alliance Francais' beautiful theater for a mere $7, while stunningly genius at prepared piano (with erasers and twigs for example) and looping (great for lovers of Dosh and Andrew Bird).

The immediate comraderie and warmth of these musicians is contagious. Whatever it was I was thinking about doing, has escaped me as I grew caught up in the vibrant music world and laughter of these musicians. In spite of nightmares getting here, they came, and I hope that many can share the sonic pleasures they offer for this limited time in collaboration with our own Fat Kid Wednesdays, Happy Apple, Eyedea and Brother Ali and the Twin Cities Hot Club and many more. Go to Minnesota Sur Seine for a complete schedule, artist's bios and details.

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