Mighty Parisian electronic music crew Acid Arab have been putting European festivals and club audiences under a spell for the last few years, with their intoxicating blend of sharp Western electronic music with Eastern sounds & vocals. Formed in 2012 by Parisian DJs, Acid Arab patiently honed their style by meeting with scores of artists from all over North Africa and the Middle East. Born in the transcultural cauldron that is Paris, their concept was to create a space for Arab culture in the world of contemporary electronic music. They laid down groundwork by releasing several EPs (the Collections series) on electronic music label Versatile, featuring collabs, remixes and tracks by other artists. No banging techno spiced up with darbouka samples here… no standard dance music with orientalist clichés: Acid Arab's music is sincere and deep. Between instruments, rhythms, melodic modes, musical technologies… and people.
Barton Hartshorn is a singer-songwriter currently living in Paris. He, first and foremost, has a great voice that takes us straight to the heart of the song. Steeped in an English pop-folk universe, his songs have a 70s west coast Americana flavour; it’s this blend of scenes and sounds that gives them their distinctly personal and original touch. Imagine Lloyd Cole fronting Steely Dan or Paul McCartney sitting in with the Eagles. Although none of his albums would be called concept albums, each one carries a distinct theme and represents a travelogue of sorts, a record of journeys real and imagined.
Blick Bassy formed his first band in Cameroon at the age of 17, an inventive jazz fusion group inspired by local rhythms. After 10 years of performing with Macase, Blick grew frustrated with the lack of infrastructure for an artist in Cameroon and decided to move to Paris. It was there, in 2005, that Blick started his solo career, at first collaborating with a wide range of artists, before eventually releasing his debut album Léman (a record that fused West African and Central African rhythms) in 2009, and following it up with Hongo Calling in 2011. Released on March 8, 2019, his last album 1958 is dedicated to the memory of Ruben Um Nyobé, the anti-colonialist leader of the Popular Union of Cameroon (UPC), who was shot dead by French troops on September, 13 1958, two years before the country became independent. A tender and soulful selection of songs, the album is sung in Bassa, Blick’s ancestral language. Its focus is specific, but its themes – the bondage of neo-colonialism, the need for heroes, the relevance of history and the search for true identity – are universal.
In her 2019 album Pas de Géant (Giant Steps), Camille Bertault turns a virtuoso exercise into a phenomenal, liberated vocal display, explaining, sharing and declaring her passion. Her approach? Words, rhythms, notes, a staggering way of having its meaning rush around at breakneck speed over music at the top of its game; sweet, free and unbridled in style. Camille is a young woman of her time with a tangle of solid roots. Pas de géant is an album about Camille Bertault, her encyclopaedic culture of pleasure, her taste for vocal cascades, her silky sensitivity, her tendency for acrobatic figures and her evident freedom.
Philippe Cerboneschi « Zdar » was scheduled to play with us for the release of the new Cassius album. France Rocks team is saddened to announce his sudden death on 6/20/2019. A major figure of the French electro scene, Zdar is and will remain one of the most visionary artists of the French Touch generation. At Motorbass, his legendary studio in Paris, Zdar worked on many cult albums with outstanding French and international artists like the Beastie Boys, The Rapture, Cat Power, Chromeo, Tiga, M, Sons of Rafael, Franz Ferdinand, Daft Punk, Phoenix with whom he won a Grammy in 2009 for the album « Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix ». Zdar's many collaborators all remember him as a master innovator and a kind and charming man, full of passion and enthusiasm. The world of music lost a genius.
Clotilde is a standout singer and flutist, active across the jagged landscape of jazz, from standards to avant-garde. She has released 3 albums, all of which received numerous awards in France, the UK, the US and Japan. Her last album A woman’s journey with the minimalist French duo Madeleine & Salomon won 16 awards including 4 awards as “Best album”. Her second album In Extremis was named one of the top 5 albums by “NPR Annual Jazz Critics Poll 2013” (US), and by The Sunday Times (UK). As a singer and bandleader, Clotilde performs around the world, from concerts at world renowned jazz venues to prestigious festivals in France, Luxembourg, the UK, the US, Australia, Netherlands, Germany, and China.
Clovis Nicolas is a jazz bass player and composer living in New York City, who graduated from the Juilliard School. His warm, precise and tasteful bass playing gained him a solid reputation on the international scene, which led to performances with artists such as Peter Bernstein, Herbie Hancock, Jeremy Pelt, Brad Mehldau, Harry Allen, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Curtis Fuller. Parallel to his busy schedule as a sideman, Clovis is also a band leader who released two albums for Sunnyside Record: Nine Stories (Best Albums of the Year in DownBeat) and Freedom Suite Ensuite rewarded CHOC in Jazz Magazine. “A formidable walker, with a big, resonant tone, Clovis Nicolas also distinguishes himself as a first-rate composer” – DownBeat Magazine.
Clovis NICOLAS: bass
Brandon LEE: trumpet
Grant STEWART: sax
Carl ALLEN: drums
Fanny Azzuro is a pianist whose solo career is reaching new heights. At 33 years old, she has established herself on prestigious stages in the musical world, playing in a poetic and vibrant manner, always with deliberate intention. Her 2018-2019 season features performances in prestigious French venues and festivals, such as La Folle Journée de Nantes, and in Zurich, Brussels, New York, Washington D.C. and Dallas. Her motto is “to tell a story with honesty, humility and ability, while creating a strong human bond through a harmonious moment of sharing”.
Halo Maud centre on singer / musician Maud Nadal, who grew up in rural Auvergne in central France and is now based in Paris. Hailing from the French proggy, psychedelic and experimental pop scene that birthed Melody’s Echo Chamber, Moodoïd and cult label La Souterraine, Halo Maud’s ethereal songs flit between English and French language, focussing on notions of freedom and power through a wild and playful lens. Her first album « Je suis une Ile » was released in may 2018 on the great British label Heavenly Recordings (Temples, Baxter Dury King Gizzard…).
Originally from the cosmopolitan port city of Jaffa in Israel, Itamar Borochov brings the influence of his upbringing’s sacred music to jazz. Since his teenage, Borochov has immersed himself in the realms of jazz and bebop, which led him to move to New York in 2007 where he was mentored by Barry Harris. He began playing trumpet at the age of eleven and has absorbed the jazz trumpet lineage of Louis Armstrong, Clark Terry, Miles Davis, Kenny Dorham, Lee Morgan, Booker Little and Wynton Marsalis. He also cites Ben Webster’s sound as an influence on his unique airy tone. His deep knowledge of these various musical disciplines is incorporated organically into his original jazz writing, building a bridge between the Middle East and the modal styles of Miles Davis, John Coltrane and others. Borochov’s latest release in Blue Nights is a nine-track multi-cultural joyride of enchanting lyricism, exotic motifs, anthemic builds and virtuosic expression. Using a classic jazz quartet instrumentation, Borochov is creating a new musical hybrid.
Born in 1960 in Paris, and now an American citizen, self-taught Jean-Michel Pilc has performed with numerous giants in the music field such as: Roy Haynes, Michael Brecker, Dave Liebman, Jean Toussaint, Rick Margitza, Daniel Humair, Marcus Miller, Kenny Garrett, Lenny White, and many others. Jean-Michel Pilc moved to New York City in 1995. There, he formed a trio with François Moutin (bass) and Ari Hoenig (drums). Pilc’s first album for Dreyfus, Welcome Home (featuring the same trio), was released in 2002. In 2015, Jean-Michel became Associate Professor at The Schulich School of Music of McGill University in Montreal. He is now working on new Montreal-based projects, such as the "Waves" Trio, a new solo project called "De Visu," and the "Improvisation Workshop Project". He has recently released his fourth solo album, Parallel and gives solo concerts internationally. He continues to play with NYC-based groups such as Pilc-Moutin-Hoenig and his US Trio with Sam Minaie and Jerad Lippi.
Koki Nakano was born in 1988 in Fukuoka, Japan and has been playing piano since he was three years old. After graduating Music High School at Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo, he enrolled at the composition department of Tokyo University of the Arts. He has written works for various ensembles including a vast amount of solo piano compositions and numerous pieces for cello and piano, and as a band leader for his band ‘Gas Law’ he has been composing and performing throughout Japan. Koki Nakano has also been involved in production work for Tokyo FM. Furthermore, he has performed recitals at the ‘Maison de la culture du Japon’, the 'Louvre' and the 'Théâtre du Châtelet' in Paris, and at the 'Stefánia Palace' in Budapest. In 2016, he released his first album Lift on French label Nø Førmat. Koki Nakano is based in Paris.
This charismatic and boisterous band was formed in the working-class districts of Paris in the 80’s. It came out of the equestrian cabaret Zingaro, punk and gypsy music. To this day, ‘Les Négresses Vertes’ are still one of France’s most iconic bands around the world. The crew has performed unforgettable concerts in prestigious venues and festivals such as the famous Reading Festival. In 1993, the tragic disappearance of singer Helno marked a turning point in the band’s history. Nevertheless, Les Négresses Vertes bounced back and went on to produce new albums, exploring different musical worlds and collaborating with the likes of Massive Attack for the superb remix of ‘Face à la mer’ and Howie B for the renowned album ‘Trabendo’. Anyone who has been to their concerts still remembers their highly energetic and compassionate musical fusion. The band split up in 2001 but we are pleased to announce its resurrection: Les Négresses Vertes 2019 Tour will celebrate the 30th anniversary of their first album MLAH.
Parisian singer-songwriter, actress, model and artist Lou Doillon released her highly anticipated third album, Soliloquy, on February 2019. Following the global success of 2016’s Lay Low and her 2012 breakout debut, Places, which earned her a French Grammy for Female Artist of the Year, Lou Doillon reveals more of herself than ever with Soliloquy. Doillon grew up on theater stages, cinema sets and in front of some of the most renowned photographers’ camera lenses. She has since shared stages with artists including John Cale, Pete Doherty, Animal Collective, Jarvis Cocker, John Grant and Richard Hawley, and toured the world playing festivals and headlining venues in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Belgium, Australia and more.
With his first album Un released in 2017, Malik Djoudi made an impressive entrance into the world of French pop music. Born to Algerian and Vietnamese parents, he created an elegant and vibrant music both powerful and fragile. Following Un, Malik’s second album Tempéraments was one of 2019’s most anticipated French albums. The new release fully meets the high expectations. Driven by succinct melodies and colorful harmonies, it reveals a search for perfectionism, resulting in daring electronic arrangements. The album also features the duet ‘À tes côtés’ with French pop hero Étienne Daho, with whom Malik Djoudi definitely shares musical affinities.
Naama Liany embarked her 2017-19 seasons with a worldwide tour of UNA FOLÍA! recital program which included performances in New York, Aspen, London, Paris, Madrid, Luxembourg, Delft, Geneva and Brussels. Born in Israel, trained in New York City, and currently, lives in Paris. While residing in New York, she performed on prestigious stages such as the Carnegie Hall, Everson Museum of Art & DiMenna Center, soloist with the Bach Society of Columbia University in J.S Bach Magnificat, and a performance of the role of the Innkeeper’s Wife from Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen. In Israel, Liany sang the role of the Mayor in Gil Shohat’s The Happy Prince among many recitals and solo performances with various ensembles. She won the 1st prize in the Buchman-Heiman competition and is a recipient of scholarships from the Ronen Foundation, and the Shlomit Ben-Zvi Foundation.
Born 30 years ago in Alice, a small town on the eastern Cape of South Africa, Nakhane has a ravishingly beautiful voice and plenty to express with it. His album You Will Not Die excavates his religious upbringing, his need to renounce Christianity after feeling that it was incompatible with his queerness, and his periods of depression and anxiety – but there’s also love, joy and self-acceptance, not least on the title track, in which Nakhane realizes that despite the traumatic events he’s been through, he’ll survive. As an album, You Will Not Die is gorgeous to listen to, Nakhane’s magisterial voice aligned with solid-gold songwriting. Producer Ben Christopher, whose credits include Bat For Lashes, melds choirs, turns strings and electronic pop into something sumptuous and urgent. From the choral hip-hop of the opening track Violent Measures, through the anthemic pulse of Star Red, to the gorgeously limpid torch song All Along, You Will Not Die reveals the measure of Nakhane’s considerable talents.
OAKMAN come from the north of Lyon, a place that could be set between Twin Peaks and Fargo. Their music is alt-rock. They play loud, only with a touch of romanticism. They love Basement, Citizen, Manchester Orchestra, Biffy Clyro, sing in english, and write about relationships mostly, things unsaid, nature too, solitude and hope. The band popped up on the Lyon rock scene in 2016. A 4-track-self-produced debut EP Waterscape was released in October. Then they started touring in France but also in England, Italy and Japan where the band is coming back in 2019. A second EP Plastic World was released in October 2018, mixed by Sam Pura (State Champs, Story So Far) in Fremont, USA.
In 2012, French trombonist Fidel Fourneyron decided to go to Cuba to find out more about the country that had inspired his name. Apart from a few essentials for the trip, he packed his trombone and one address: Calle Luz – ‘the street of light’. The place was recommended by his friend, the double-bassist Thibaud Soulas, who had lived there for a while and immersed himself in the life and music that sizzled all around him. They returned to Cuba at the end of 2017 to link up with their friends and plug back into the Afro-Cuban ‘mains’. Fidel started to compose and record, superimposing new melodies and arrangements over a sacred Afro-Cuban core. They surrounded themselves with talented French jazzmen. The Cubans joined them in Paris; a deeper dialogue was woven; the magic began to glide. On April 5th, they release their last single ‘Los Tres Guerreros‘.
Fidel Fourneyron - Lead /Thibaud Soulas - Co-lead Adonis Panter Calderon (Percussions), Aymeric Avice (Trumpet), Barbaro Crespo Richard (Percussions), Benjamin Dousteyssier (Alto saxophone), Bruno Ruder (Fender Rhodes), Elie Duris (Drums), Fidel Fourneyron (Trombone), Hugues Mayot (Tenor saxophone), Ramon Tamayo Martinez (Percussions), Thibaud Soulas (Double-bass).
Blind since birth, Raul Midón is celebrated as one of music's most distinctive and searching voices. Midón has collaborated with such heroes as Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Jason Mraz, Queen Latifah, and Snoop Dogg. The New York Times has called Raul Midón “a one-man band who turns a guitar into an orchestra and his voice into a chorus.” Now, with his exciting last album – If You Really Want, Midón’s voice and guitar ride the waves of an actual orchestra. Raul, who earned his first GRAMMY nomination for Bad Ass and Blind, his Artistry Music/Mack Avenue album of 2017 – worked hand in glove on If You Really Want with another renowned GRAMMY winner and frequent Metropole Orkest collaborator: conductor-composer-arranger Vince Mendoza.“Midón’s interpretation of his surroundings is borderless. He sings with the passion of the best classic soul singers, and his instrumental chops stand along side the most accomplished jazz musicians.” - NPR Music.
French singer, songwriter, electronic musician and record producer, S a r a s a r a began her music career in 2014. Following the success of her self-released David Bowie cover, ‘Heroes’, S a r a s a r a moved to the UK to work on her first extended play in collaboration with Matthew Herbert. The EP drew the attention of Björk’s label, One Little Indian, who signed Sarah in January 2016. S a r a s a r a subsequently released her debut studio album, Amor Fati in November 2016. Her work has been likened to Björk, Kelela, Aaliyah and Aphex Twin, drawing on various genres including electronic music, trip hop, R&B, industrial and avant-garde.
In her new album, Next Time, The New York singer and songwriter leverages the freedom to soulfully speak her mind and share truths by way of vivid songwriting cast over swaths of lush acoustic guitars and dense piano chords. Elle France calls Sophie "Auster on fire" and sites the album as "a mix of sensual pop-folk and baroque". After gracing the cover, of D La Republica, in Italy this year the magazine praises Auster for her "diva voice" drawing comparisons to "…Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Tom Waits, Fiona Apple."
Stephane Wrembel is quite simply one of the finest guitar players in the world. The breadth and range of his playing and compositions are unmatched. To say that Wrembel— who learned his craft among the Gypsies at campsites in the French countryside— has already had a remarkable career would be an under-statement. This prolific, virtuoso guitarist from France has been releasing a steady stream of music since 2006 and has truly made his mark as one of the most original guitar voices in contemporary music. The New York Observer said, "Stephane Wrembel represents the living face of Gypsy jazz." Rolling Stone Magazine has called him “a revelation”. He has toured around the world, and is very active on the musical scene in many countries including USA, Canada, France, Israel and India. Recently, Stephane has performed as a headliner at the legendary Carnegie Hall in New York and at the Festival Django Reinhardt in France.
Hailing from Paris, Tchami came on to the scene with his remix of Janet Jackson’s “Go Deep”, which became an instant hit. A talented producer, he is a pioneer in the ever-growing future house movement. Tchami is best known for his enigmatic future house tracks like "Afterlife" and "Adieu", as well as his massively successful single "Promesses."
Malaa has embraced his shrouded identity since he exploded onto the scene in 2015. He plays off of his anonymity in his balaclava-clad persona and regular releases of mixes on Soundcloud titled "Who Is Malaa". Malaa began releasing music on Tchami's CONFESSION label with his debut Illicit EP in 2016, followed by the single "Notorious."
In 2018, Tchami and Malaa teamed up on the acclaimed “No Redemption EP” and subsequent international tour. Their collaborative project skyrocketed in popularity, selling out shows at massive venues like Bill Graham Civic Center in San Francisco, Red Rocks in Colorado, and the main stage closing slot at Ultra Music Festival. Tchami and Malaa are both part of the Pardon My French team, a collective of four French Djs that also includes DJ Snake and Mercer.
Anna-Catherine Hartley, known professionally as Uffie, is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, DJ, and fashion designer formerly signed to French electronic music record label Ed Banger Records. She has been described as a muse for French DJs, and is known for working with her labelmates and friends, such as Feadz, Mr. Oizo, and SebastiAn, as well as producer Mirwais. Uffie’s music incorporates synthpop, acid house, alternative dance, and “somewhere between electro, rap and nu skool”. In 2010, she released her debut album Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans, which was included on several year-end critics’ lists and was nominated in the French Victoires de la Musique for Best Electronic Album. In May 2018, she released Drugs, her first single in seven years and also appeared as a featured artist on Galantis’ single Spaceship, which reached number 36 on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Chart. Uffie’s EP, Tokyo Love Hotel, her first full-length project since her 2010 debut album, was released on February 22, 2019.
Charline Mignot was born Franco-Swiss at the dawn of the 90’s. From childhood, this young woman developed a very personal point of view to explain and understand the world around her, leading her to photography. Her culture of aesthetics brought her closer to the world of fashion, and her appetite for pushing her limits lead her to write the lyrics of a song (Est-ce que tu t’en souviens). The characteristic style of the artist is already strongly felt and was identified by her label, Profil de Face. She took the name Vendredi Sur Mer and released her first EP entitled : Marée Basse. Lewis OfMan is producing and the EP is inspired by Gainsbourg, Daho, and even French rap (Orelsan, Nekfeu). VSM is currently writing her first album, projected to be released in 2019.
Like all popular music, jazz is associated with strong personalities. International recognition of accordionist Vincent Peirani rests on that essential, fundamental quality. His musical charisma, his very distinctive creative skills, his unique approach to his art strike the listener immediately. After brilliant studies in classical music (many international awards), his dive into the world of jazz received the seal of success from the start and was crowned at the Victoires du Jazz in 2014 (“Revelation”) and 2015 (“Artist of the Year”). In his performances, he creates a balance between the relatively straightforward (inventive revivals of well-known themes) and a blessed unexpectedness, with art music and popular music very close to each other, a sign of great artistry. The man who, ten years ago, completely renewed the language of the accordion has become a major artist.
You Said Strange comes from Normandy, the North-Western region of France. For a few years, they’ve been growing their own Norman-spiced definition of psychedelia. After a first EP recorded with Black Market Karma in London, the band ended up supporting The Dandy Warhols on their French 2015 tour. A strong friendship was born which led them to fly over to Portland to record the band’s first album with the Dandys' guitar player Peter G Holmström. Having just signed to Fuzz Club, You Said Strange is gearing up for the release of their debut full length, Salvation Prayer, a concoction of heady riffs, haunting melodies and bright rhythms, half-way between 90s shoegaze and 60s psychedelia.
Early in the 2000s, Yuksek released two albums, Away from the Sea (2009) and Living on the Edge of Time (2011), which laid the foundations of a sound that uncompromisingly combined pop, disco and electro. In 2013, he set up his own label, Partyfine, and has collaborated since then with such artists as Chassol, Keren Ann, Herman Dune, JD Samson, Boston Bun, Brodinski, The Magician (Peter & the Magician) and Alex Metric (The Alexanders). Yuksek continues to make remixes (Lana Del Rey, Phoenix, M83, Gorillaz, Empire of the sun) and has also devoted a lot of time to writing for cinema, television and the stage. Yuksek’s third album Nous Horizon features the Greek singer Monika, the duo Her, Roman Rappak (Breton), Juveniles and Kim. The musician’s characteristic sound, midway between post-disco, house and pop, shines through. Yuksek also shows his talent as a singer. His new melodies are sunnier than before; his beats and production more subtle; airy, but still conveying a touch of hedonism in its most club-friendly sounds.
Zimmer’s music is a feel good, body-warming and enthusiastic wave that goes straight to the heart and stays until the end of the night. Growing up between France and California, this young producer is a gentle combination of both worlds. For the past years, Zimmer’s been experimenting and writing in the studio evolving his sound. “Landing” is the first track released from these sessions and marks the first new music from Zimmer since his 2017 EP, Ceremony. With his tropical twist on house and disco, Zimmer’s made his name largely as a remixer working for artists including MØ, Wunder Wunder, Brooke Fraser, Moullinex, Gallant, Vallis Apls and Moon Boots. He is frequently touring is North America: New York’s Rough Trade, Los Angeles, Moroccan Lounge, D.C.’s Union Stage, Boston’s Great Scott, Chicago’s Eastroom and more.