Bringing a taste of French music fervour to the city will be three genre-spanning music acts this week. The Fête De La Musique or World Music Day is held on June 21 every year, celebrating the longest day in the calendar with free music performances on streets, in gardens, town squares and other public spaces. While the same cannot be replicated in the city, various venues are putting their best into giving locals a glimpse of the French gala.
Alliance Française has collaborated with live music venue Blue Frog to bring French pop-rock group Betty Argo to perform at a free concert on June 23. “The fête is a phenomenal event in France and we are trying our best to promote it here. The idea is to celebrate the day and week with performances where everyone’s invited to watch,” says Sheryn Mulla, executive and cultural assistant, Alliance Française de Bombay.
The festival first took off in France in 1982, after American musican Joel Cohen proposed the idea of holding an all-night celebration of music during the summer solstice. Every year since, both amateur and professional musicians are encouraged to perform free for the public, bringing together a variety of genres for music fans.
Alfred D’Souza, conductor of the Stop-Gaps Choral Ensemble and Stop-Gaps Junior Choral Ensemble which will be performing this weekend, believes that diversity is one of the main mottos of the fest. “In France, it is a musical treat with performers from various musical traditions coming together. Our choral ensemble has performed in Paris in the past and we have a certain affinity to the fête there,” he says.
Habituated to perform at concert halls, D’Souza feels upbeat about performing at the Matthieu Foss Gallery with the junior choir on June 25, “It will be a new experience for all of us,” says he. Adds Mulla, “Ballard Estate is a heritage building and it will be a memorable performance.”
Free gigs: June 23
Betty Argo:10 pm onwards at Blue Frog
Stop-Gaps Junior Choral Ensemble
6.30 pm at Matthieu Foss Gallery, Ballard Estate
Stop-Gaps Choral Ensemble
7.30 pm at Catheral of the Holy Name