French Café includes performances by renowned icons such as Serge Gainsbourg, Georges Brassens, Brigitte Bardot, Jane Birkin and Barbara alongside contemporary musicians who have been adding new energy to the classic French sound, such as Paris Combo, Sanseverino, Polo, Coralie Clement, Enzo Enzo, Mathieu Boogaerts and Baguette Quartette.
Paris has long been an epicenter for café culture, and its countless cafes have always been magnets for bohemians, artists, poets, revolutionaries, laborers and musicians. Indeed, the history of French music is inextricably linked to the cafes and music halls where popular music styles like musette and chanson were originally performed.
In the late 1950s and early ‘60s, French music was greatly impacted by American and British rock and roll and pop music. The sound of troubadours like Georges Brassens and dramatic divas like Barbara was subsumed by a new and vibrant movement that blended French attitude and lyricism with a youthful, counter-culture energy. Brigitte Bardot, the sultry film star who was France’s most widely recognized icon internationally in the ‘60s, was also a popular singer at home and a leading proponent of the so- called “yé-yé” style. Serge Gainsbourg, an innovative songwriter who used chanson as a springboard for a unique brand of avant-garde music, became an idol and inspiration for countless musicians in France and abroad.
In recent years, classic French styles that first became popular in the early part of the 20th Century have been experiencing a comeback. Some of the most popular musicians on the current French music scene have been drawing inspiration from chanson, musette, and gypsy jazz. Icons of French music like Django Reinhardt, Edith Piaf and Georges Brassens have been embraced by young French musicians who once disparaged their music as being of another era.
The music on French Café unites musicians of an earlier age with contemporary artists who draw on the sound of the past as inspirat ion to create a style that is both nostalgic and progressive.