September 19 2013

Francofolies New York

New York-Standard Sounds

Francofolies New York, A Tribute to Edith Piaf

Annie Ohayon, the ear behind the Annie O Music Series at The Standard, East Village, helped bring the legendary French music festival Francofolies to New York for its first year. Great! But what is Francofolies? Kind of a jazzy French Coachella maybe? We asked Annie for all the renseignement. Merci, Annie!

What is Francofolies?
A music festival that takes place every July in La Rochelle, France. It is an initiative of Jean-Louis Foulquier and Gerard Pont and aims to promote francophone (French-speaking) music.

It is usually held inside a theater like the Beacon?
This is the first time Francofolies is coming to New York. The festival is usually held outside in La Rochelle where over 200,000 people attend concerts over 5 days.

How many years has Francofolies been around for?
This will be its 29th year in France. Edition were launched in Quebec, Francofolies Montreal in 1989, and Belgium, Francofolies de Spa in 1994.

How did it get to New York?
New York was always their premier choice beyond French speaking countries.

Why did they choose to tribute Edith Piaf?
Besides being the most famous French artist, it is the 50th Anniversary of her passing and she was very connected to New York City.

What makes the artists special that are involved?
The love of Edith Piaf, some of them have covered her songs. For some it was a great opportunity to perform in a great venue in New York.

Are they all French?
Mostly, but there are a few that are not. Duffy and Alex Hepburn are from England. Harry Connick and Beth Ditto are American. Angelique Kidjo is from Benin, Africa.

Who is your favorite of them?
That's a hard question but I love Angelique Kidjo. She is someone I have worked with for many years and is somebody that I am very close with. I also love Patricia Kaas and Duffy.

What are the different events happening for the festival?
1- There is the big concert tonight at The Beacon. Unfortunately that is sold out.

2- Patricia Kaas is singing Edith Piaf songs at Town Hall on Friday night. You can get tickets here.

3- I'm hosting two nights of concerts at The Standard, East Village. RSVP before it's too late or you might not get in!