MARS EN FOLIE

Simon Nwambeben [France/Cameroon, Bitibak Classic]

Alexandre Désilets [Canada, pop rock]

Manu Gallo [Belgium/Ivory Coast, afro-beat funk]

Mama Rosin [Switzerland, zydeco/ Cajun-Creole]

 

In celebration of the 17th season of the “Francophone world Festival” in China, the Alliances Françaises network in China, the Embassies of Canada, Switzerland and Belgium, the Wallonia-Brussels Delegation in China, as well as the Quebec Offices in China invite you to a musical journey through the Francophonie world: MARS EN FOLIE 2012!

 

This year, an unprecedented formula: 8 cities, 4 groups, 2 concerts at each venue and 1 goal: vibrate to Francophone rhythms.

 

Visit university campuses to travel with the haunting melodies of Simon Nwambeben (France/Cameroon, Bitibak Classic), the intimate pop of Alexandre Désilets (Canada, pop rock), the swinging funk of Manu Gallo (Belgium/Ivory Coast, afro-beat funk) and the voodoo rhythms of Mama Rosin (Switzerland, zydeco/ Cajun-Creole).

 

A unique event, on tour in your city and open to everyone.

 

An occasion not to be missed!

 

 

 

 

SIMON NWAMBEBEN (France/Cameroun, Classic Bitibak)

 

A brand new name on the African scene in France. A beautiful voice, a guitar, a handful of musicians, a relevant sensitivity, a good sense of song-writing… Simon Nwambeben teaches us, in a brilliant way and without concessions, how to find again an intelligent and simple musical expression. It results in songs that catch you, talk about, say something, cry, get angry and sing. « Bitibak » : he called his musical style after a mixture of barks, leaves and plants which are used to stop fever. His music can also heal the listeners, particularly those who believe that songs and world music mean feast and sun. With delicacy and simplicity, this young singer reminds us that music can ease daily life and should be thanked for it.

 

Bitibak, a singular music
. Just like music of Simon : a remedy against the evils of the ground, where he draws his inspiration. To obtain the potion, one needs a good amount of interbreeding: African voice, French voices, a set percussions come from several corners of the world, a guitar and rhythms traditional Bafia. The mixture of the tones for only color.

 

With this effective and sophisticated musical expression, he takes us deep into his universe of poetry and humanity, into the trance of his origins.

 

Simon Nwambeben : guitar & vocals

Murielle Schreder : harpe

Erwan Martinerie : cello

Samuel Lecomte : drum jazz

 

Created in 2010 with the support of Adami, the General Council of Loire-Atlantique, the Regional Council of Pays de la Loire and of Champilambart (Vallet).

 

More information: www.simon-nwambeben.com, www.myspace.com/simonnwambeben

 

ALEXANDRE DÉSILETS (Canada, pop-rock)

 

Alexandre presents with his new album “La Garde”, a more grounded, luminous, groove contagious soul universe! With “La Garde”, the singer-songwriter does it again by taking on the challenge and siding with creativity. A gifted and inventive melodist, he plays around with various genres, hitting right on target. Surrounded by musical director Jean Massicotte, writter Mathieu Leclerc and his musicians, Alexandre takes us from one surprise to the other, dodging easy comparisons. One is carried from organic rhythms, to vinyl crackles, to retro-futuristic settings without ever losing focus! Amidst renewal and continuity “La Garde” is first and foremost an affirmation of Alexandre’s talent and unquenchable pleasure for daring musical arrangements, strong melodies and words that move. This album also critically acclaimed, is nominated at l’ADISQ for Pop-Rock Album of the Year and brings Alexandre on many stages and prestigious music festivals.

 

Distinct and unique showman, Alexandre leads us, along with his musicians, into a world in which each composition takes on a whole new dimension, leaving us… intoxicated for a long time!

 

More information:

www.alexandredesilets.com/mediapak/

www.alexandredesilets.com/

www.myspace.com/alexandredesilets/photos/14933670

 

MANOU GALLO (Belgium/Ivory Coast, afro-beat funk)

 

When Manou was born, her grant grand-mother, bound to die shortly after, promised her: “I give you the World”. Since that time, Manou Gallo goes her own way.

Manou Gallo grooves just for the fun on afrobeat rhythms or dreams of a place among the stars (in heaven). The small girl of Divo was shocking the village people when she played the traditional drums, today she is the woman with a Drum. She looks after Marcelin Yassé, her mentor, her father, her talisman. “The belief in tradition mustn’t prevent you from going ahead” says Manou. And so she embraces the world.

Manou was a singer, bass player, percussion player and dancer. She played with bands like Zap Mama or the Tambours de Brazza, was invited on stage by Manu Dibango, and produced a CD with Ray Lema. Even Wyclef Jean couldn’t resist joining her on stage at the MTV VIP party in 2009!

Today, Manou turned into a brilliant band leader. The stage is like her second home and she pays a lot of attention to her live performance. She brings African music in a very inventive and modern way.

For the music, she has been inspired by the Djiboi (people of the Ivory Coast Manou’s homeland), but also by her current western musical culture.

The combination of soul, funk and blues is within the concept of groove a common denominator. World hot music full of emotion and sensitivities expressed in various languages (Dida, French and English).

 

Manou Gallo : bass, guitar & vocals

Virna Nova : guitar & vocals

More information: www.igloorecords.be/articles/fr/, www.manou-gallocom-online/, www.manou-gallo.com/, www.myspace.com/manougallo

MAMA ROSIN (Suisse, zydeco / Cajun-Creole)

 

Mama Rosin – their name comes from a Cajun song – were formed by Cyril Yeterian and Robin Girod. They started jamming and found they shared a similar enthusiasm for hardcore rock’n’roll and lost American roots music. The whole adventure began with a demo-tape, “the garage tape”, that was recorded and mixed by Pierre Omer (ex- The Dead Brothers), who also plays the guitar on two songs. The “Reverend Beat-man” was swamped over by these sounds and the trio made its entrance in the big Voodoo Rhythm Family!

 

They cut their debut album Tu As Perdu Ton Chemin in a matter of hours; it was given very little promotion but Ton Chemin found its way to music fans and tastemakers across Europe. In the UK, Radio 2 DJ Mark Lamarr was the first to spot them. Today, as the band’s name spreads quickly, their music captivates lovers of both rock and roots music alike. Now with forthcoming breakthrough album – album release No 3 Black Robert – the band adds voodoo-jazz to their down ‘n’ dirty Cajun garage sound. Black Robert’s cover is an ad-hoc shot taken in London at Hackney’s Broadway Market when Mama Rosin were first in the UK.

 

While the cover of their second album Brule Lentement paid tribute to the Velvet Underground’s debut, they designed the Black Robert album to resemble a classic Blue Note jazz release of the 1950s –“Black Robert is different from our previous albums because it has a taste of jazz and calypso. Our previous albums were more focused on energy. Black Robert, well, it’s like we’re on the bayou in Louisiana. When we visited Louisiana and met people including our old time heroes, we realised that the way they live is ‘on the bayou’: growing food, fishing, listening to vinyl, not rushing. And that philosophy informed this album.” The band’s visit to Louisiana was truly an eye-opener: the local youth loved their punkflavoured approach to Cajun and Zydeco while the elders wept and spoke of Cajun culture being decimated. “Cajun culture is being killed step by step by American culture. People forget to speak French, forget to play their own music. For a long time it was really bad to say you were a Cajun. But the young generation invited us to Louisiana and they had tears in their eyes when we played. They give us the credibility. It really touched our hearts. We speak French with them and we understand one another.” Mama Rosin are however reluctant to play on the ancient historic bonds between France/French and the Cajuns. Robin adds that Cyril was born in Lebanon to Armenian parents who fled to Europe when war broke out in Beirut. It is just a coincidence, he insists, that they are French speakers.

 

If Mama Rosin cite Amede Ardoin, the pioneering black melodeon (small accordion) player of the 1920s / 30s as an inspiration and their favourite Louisiana artists tend to be Zydeco musicians – the black Cajuns who infused Cajun music with a strong dose of blues and rock’n’roll – the band also look to The Velvet Underground, The Clash, Serge Gainsbourg and The White Stripes as influences. “Our sound starts in the Louisiana juke joints,” says Robin, “but we like the Texas sound, calypso, the Spanish sound, the blues sound. All those styles were kicking around Louisiana, the Caribbean, the Gulf of Texas one hundred years ago. We feed off them but then we take off on our own!”

 

Robin Girod has been playing guitar and banjo as long as he can remember. His teenage years were spent listening to an enormous amount of music from jazz, to blues, to caribbean, african, and rock’n’roll. Old mate Cyril Yeterian is obsessed with the various styles of music to be found around the Gulf of Mexico. The third member of the band, the young drummer ‘Power Van’ Vanina Fischer, certainly one of the best female rock drummers around today – is to be heard on the band’s recordings; recently decided to take a break after the birth of her first child. She is now replaced with the equally talented French drummer Xavier “Gérard Guilain” Bray.

 

Robin Girod: guitar, banjo, washboard, vocals

Cyril Yeterian: melodeon, vocals, guitar

Xavier “Gérard Guilan” Bray: drum

More information: www.mazurka.ch/mama-rosin/, www.myspace.com/mamarosin

 

 MARS EN FOLIE, China tour:

 

– 22/03 : Jinan

– 23/03 : Qingdao

– 24/03 : Beijing

– 26/03 : Chongqing

– 28/03 : Chengdu

– 29/03 : Shanghai

– 30/03 : Guangzhou

– 31/03 : Macao

More information: www.afchine.org

  • Start:
  • Tickets: Free entrance upon invitation [invitation available at Yugong Yishan & Alliance française front desk – Guangcai, Xihai and BLCU centers – from March 10th, 65532678 ext.209 (fr)]