Belle du Berry – Vocals, Potzi – Guitar, Francois Jeannin – Drums/Vocals, David Lewis – Trumpet/Piano Benoît Dunoyer de Segonzac – double bass (and occasionally featuring Rémy Kaprielan – percussion, vocals, sax)
Six albums and two decades spent criss-crossing the globe, playing to enthusiastic audiences from Sydney to San Francisco and Berlin to Beijing, have enabled France’s Paris Combo to create a unique, cosmopolitan sound, establishing the band as one of the most piquant, intriguing groups on the international music scene. Fronted by the charismatic vocals of chanteuse Belle du Berry, the combo have struck a chord with critics and audiences alike with their fun-loving mix of swinging gypsy jazz, cabaret, French pop and Latino and Middle Eastern rhythms.
The mainstream success of their second album “Living Room” (2000) gave the group a unique status as a French indie band capable of drawing crowds not only in France, where the album went gold, but also in Australia and the USA where they have chalked up over twenty tours. Returning to performing in 2011 after a five-year hiatus, the group made their US comeback at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and went on to release their fifth album, simply entitled “5”, on the DRG/eOne label. Media response to “5” was enthusiastic and in 2013-14, they sold out venues across the country with their first US tours in a decade and a triumphant return to Australia in 2015. Paris Combo’s next album, “ Tako Tsubo ” will be released in the US on February 10th on the DRG/eOne label.
Belle du Berry, guitarist Potzi and drummer François first performed together in Paris as members of a quirky retro revue, “Les Champêtres de Joie” which went on to collaborate at the closing ceremony of the Alber- tville Winter Olympic Games in 1992.
Du Berry and Australian-born trumpeter-pianist David Lewis met while performing together at the “Cabaret Sauvage” and in 1995 the group began to hone their sound playing in cafés and barges along the Seine under the name “Paris Combo”. Du Berry, whose musical roots go back to post-punk bands, cites influences such as Arletty, the French singer-actress of the ’30s, but also the Surrealists and a panoply of more recent artists including the B-52’s.
Potzi’s Django-influenced guitar often mixes with François’ ska or Latin grooves to create a fascinating blend. Lewis, who had previously played with a wide variety of French bands including Manu Dibango and Arthur H, attributes the group’s approach to Paris’ cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Paris Combo’s eponymous 1997 debut disc arrived as the swing revival was in full bloom, yet the band’s wide-ranging mix of musical influences instantly set them apart from other groups in the genre, winning critical praise and appealing to international audiences. The momentum continued with the release of their second album, “Living Room,” which went gold in France in 2000, and confirmed the group’s international standing, with tours of the United States, Australia and Asia and a nomination at the French industry awards, Les Victoires de la Musique. The following year Paris Combo released their third set, “Attraction,” with a series of concerts at the prestigious Cité de la Musique in Paris. Their fourth album, “Motifs,” 2004, was supported by a tour that included Australasia, Brazil and the iconic Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles where the group was accompanied by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.
The troupe reunited in 2010 after a four-year hiatus and spent a year writing, rehearsing and rediscovering their hallmark sound. They began performing the new material that evolved into the album “5” and, in September 2011, delivered a memorable come-back show at the Hollywood Bowl, kicking off in style a a new phase in their career.
“Marvelously eclectic”… – LA Times
“My favorite French cultural export of the past decade” – Seattle Times
“Over the course of five albums, the Paris Combo has fired the imagination of anyone who likes their music cool, continental, witty and more than a little mysterious.” – Boston Herald
“If music be the food of love, then Paris Combo is a banquet.” – Adelaide Advertiser
US Tour Dates
1/6 @ City Winery – Washington, DC
1/7 @ Joe’s Pub – New York, NY
1/9 @ The Triple Door – Seattle, WA
1/10 @ The Triple Door – Seattle, WA
1/12 @ Freight & Salvage Coffee House – Berkeley, CA
1/13 @ Stage One, Three Stages – Folsom, CA
1/15 @ Dakota Jazz Club – Minneapolis, MN
1/16 @ Dakota Jazz Club – Minneapolis, MN
1/17 @ City Winery – Chicago, IL
1/19 @ Berklee Performance Center – Boston, MA