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FRENCH SUMMER IN THE US – PART 3

French Summer in the US: Part 3

By Didier Allouch, host of Rendez-vous d'Amérique

My dear francophiles, francovorous and francophageous friends, after taking care of your French movies cravings in America this summer, let me see what I can do for the other French cultural cravings. Are you in need of some French music? It’s absolutely not a problem...

"Who said that our artists were only popular in France?"

All kind of French artists are regularly playing on American stages. During this season of Rendez-Vous d’Amérique, we have covered some classical concert at prestigious places like the Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Gauthier Capuçon’s concert at Disney Hall in Los Angeles, a magical night. The 2 prodigious musicians love to play in the US. They know that when they play in America, they are also in essence representing French culture. “We arrive on stage with our culture, and our education”, explains cellist Gauthier Capuçon. “We’re our country’s ambassadors. I clearly represent France when I’m playing abroad. But once we’re on stage, the musician speaks using his background. But music does all the talking”. And that night at Disney Hall, the music spoke wonderfully.

We also followed the rap singer Orelsan during his American tour. We were with him at his New York concert, in a Brooklyn theatre. Again an unforgettable night… The entire room starting singing with Orelsan, his most well known songs. Who said that our artists were only popular in France?

One last memory of the year of French music in the US, Andre Manoukian playing his Armenian Jazz in an old theatre of Downtown Los Angeles. It was his first time in the city of angels and for this specialist of music in all its forms, It wasn’t nothing to play here. “When I saw the letters on the theatre’s marquise, it felt great”, remembers the pianist. “For us musicians, L.A. is sound, it’s the most beautiful recording studios in the world, L.A. music is cool. I played at the Mecca. I had to behave”.

Manoukian did much more than behave. He transported us in another world, a world of music with Armenian roots. A few years back, Manoukian had an inspirational crisis. He found a way to get better in his own roots. “My ancestor’s music was my cure”, Manoukian remembers. “It allowed me to discover new sounds, new scales and new rhythms. I’ve made 3 albums of Armenian inspired music mixed with jazz. For once, my ancestors are bringing me something else than neurosis. Let’s enjoy that”. That’s exactly what we did that night in this old L.A. theatre.

It was more proof that if we look a little, we can find any kind of French music in the US. And it’s the same for theater, exhibits, literature, and any kind of arts. Will it be the same during the next season? Come back for the next blog, I may have the beginning of an answer for you.

To learn more about the performances of Gaultier Capucon,and Andre Manoukian  in the U.S., and other happenings that define Francophone culture in America, read our blog, and tune in to our episodes of Rendez-vous d’Amérique on TV5MONDE USA. Click here for more information on the latest episode.

Exploring a diversity of culture entwined with the insatiable energy of New York’s theatres, the bright lights of Las Vegas Blvd, the inspirational beauty of Louisiana’s bayous, and beyond - Rendez-vous d'Amérique invites you on a journey to discover Francophone culture in America. Your host on this cultural experience is Didier Allouch - reporter, cinephile, and a familiar face at movie premieres. Click here to learn how you can subscribe to TV5MONDE USA and never miss an episode!

 
French pianist Andre Manoukian playing his Armenian Jazz in an old theatre of Downtown Los Angeles
"My ancestor’s music was my cure” - Andre Manoukian
This week's episode of Rendez-vous d'Amérique also features the innaugural Vegan fashion week!