SonoMusette in Concert ~ Sunday, February 12 at 2 pm
SonoMusette recaptures the moody, melancholic sound and spirit of mid twentieth-century Paris. French chanteuse, musette accordion, gypsy-jazz guitar, upright bass, and drum kit combine to revive the enchanting songs of that era. This music has retained its power to charm and transport listeners, and SonoMusette taps that nostalgia with artistry in both vocals and instrumentation. Inspired by the great performers of that era, such as Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel, and Django Reinhardt, along with contemporary artists such as Zaz, SonoMusette brings bal-musette to the moderne era.
Mimi Pirard vocalist Robert Lunceford accordion Richard Andrews drums
Jan Martinelli upright bass Jason Briggs guitar
Reviving the enchanting sounds of the music of mid-20th-century Paris, SonoMusette combines French chanteuse, musette accordion, gypsy-jazz guitar, upright bass and drums to deliver a moody, melancholy and magical night of music. Gleaning inspiration from great performers of the past -- artists like Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel and Django Reinhardt -- and contemporary artists like Zaz, SonoMusette taps into musical nostalgia to bring their bal-musette sound to the "moderne" era.
SonoMusette takes listeners to the great music that sprang from French cafés, bringing to Willits Community Theater an afternoon of passionate and romantic songs. Parisian musette reached its zenith in the 1930s, but whether it's singer Edith Piaf, accordionist Gus Viseur, or guitarist Django Reinhardt's classic tunes, the style resonates today as well. SonoMusette sprang up in Sonoma County in 2016 out of the joy of playing those songs and music inspired by that style, from Jacques Brel to Zaz. This music has retained its power to charm and transport listeners, and SonoMusette taps that nostalgia with artistry in both vocals and instrumentation.
The group features musicians who have played in an array of popular listening and dance bands around the Bay Area. Singer Mimi Pirard spent her youth in Paris, where she learned many of these songs. Before SonoMusette, she and her brother Gabe led the popular North Bay world fusion band Dgiin. The rest of the band is accordionist Robert Lunceford, bassist and pianist Jan Martinelli, guitarist and bassist Jason Briggs, and drummer Richard Andrews.
Mimi Pirard vocalist
French-American singer, Mimi Pirard, has a passion for reviving songs from times gone by as sung by Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel, and their contemporaries. As a young child, her fathers work led Mimis family to travel the world before they settled in France when she was seven.
At age thirteen Mimi began her singing career as a member of a local music association, learning to harmonize melodies and take leading roles performing traditional and contemporary French songs. At age seventeen she moved to California where she and her brother, Gabe, began performing regularly at local venues.
Mimi and Gabe formed the popular band, Dgiin, which earned The North Bay Music Awards, Best World Band, for its unique, high energy mix of gypsy, flamenco, with a touch of funk. Their repertoire included songs in French, Spanish, and English. Mimi later helped found the band, Hand Me Down, where Latin and Caribbean rhythms intertwined with rich three-part harmonies.
Today Mimi sings with the band, SonoMusette, where she explores and exudes her favorite musical styles and songs. Her interpretations of these timeless French classics provide a freshness and excitement that is contemporary, yet faithful to the spirit and tradition of the original renditions.
Robert Lunceford accordion
Robert was born on Bastille Day in Maywood, California, located on the west bank of the
Los Angeles River. He began playing the accordion at age seven while growing up in the Los Angeles suburb of Huntington Park. Roberts musical interests have strongly focused on European and traditional music. He has played with numerous traditional Celtic music groups including the Los Angeles based band, Reel to Reel, and Sonoma Countys Atlantic Shore.
Robert took a ten year break from live performance, turning his interests to the technical side of live-music production. In 1996 he founded his own live-sound reinforcement company, Authentic Audio & Sound. Robert has engineered well over 500 live-music concerts and has recorded and engineered several studio albums.
Robert returned to live music performance in 2009, forming the French music trio, Un Deux Trois, for which he composes and arranges much of the bands music. He is also a member of the French-Italian music trio, La Guinguette.
Serving as musical director for Cinnabar Theaters 2014 production of Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, as well as the 2015 production of Edith Piaf: Beneath Paris Skies, Robert was nominated for Best Musical Direction by the Bay Area Theater Critics Circle.
Robert co-founded SonoMusette with singer Mimi Pirard, debuting the group in February 2016.
Jan Martinelli upright bass and piano
A native San Franciscan, Jan has toured and performed with numerous bands and artists at major festivals and performance halls throughout the country. Known for her stylistic range from Latin, jazz, and funk to blues and folk, her soulful approach to the bass can be heard on more than 30 albums.
Jan appeared on the cover of Southwest Airlines inflight magazine, Spirit, in an article Women & Jazz and has played major jazz festivals such as Aspen, Barbados, Monterey, San Francisco, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Jan most recently played bass in Cinnabar Theaters productions Edith Piaf: Under Paris Skies and Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris. Along with SonoMusette, Jan currently performs with French music trio, Un Deux Trois, and has been touring nationally with Holly Near since 2012.
Jason Briggs guitar and upright bass
Jason began playing guitar at age fifteen while living in Southern Arkansas. Jamming in the kitchen, his father taught Jason to play the blues. Relocating to Southern California, he fueled a passion for rock/metal/garage music and spent countless hours jamming with cohorts in garages and other improvised rehearsal spaces.
Jason spent several years in the music department at Santa Rosa Junior College studying classical guitar and jazz improvisation. Upon the recommendation of a friend, Jason listened to the legendary Django Reinhardt and was forever transformed. He began pursuing the Gypsy Jazz style with a single-minded focus that has continued to this day.
Jason was a member of the Pirate-Folk band, The Crux, and played upright bass on their first release Now Ferment, sharing in their North Bay Bohemian award for Best Indie Band, 2008.
Jason founded the Gypsy Jazz band, Hot Club Beelzebub, winning the North Bay Bohemian award for Best Jazz Band, 2012.
Richard Andrews drums
A California native, Richard began playing in garage/experimental/dance bands at the ripe age of thirteen. Richard performed orchestral and chamber music while studying at UC Berkeley, then switched to guitar during San Franciscos frenetic performance art rock scene of the early 80s. Since then he has formed collaborative projects focused on writing and recording, performed regularly on drums in jazz groups around the Bay Area and abroad, and worked with Petaluma-based Americana band, Driftwood.
Richards frequent trips to Paris have inspired a deep interest in French popular music of the early 20th century - especially the reanimation of the eras classic songs in a modern context
video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oxZlOrgyJw
Willits Community Theatre (View)
37 West Van Lane
Willits, CA 95490
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|