Le Service culturel de l'Ambassade de France à Houston lance le Festival des cultures françaises 2020, le 6 mars
HOUSTON—The Cultural Service of the French Embassy in Houston is pleased to announce the 2020 French Cultures Festival taking place throughout the month of March in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
The festival aims at celebrating French language through cultural and educational events. Every year, over 40 cultural and educational events are showcased during the festival, including art exhibits, concerts, performances, film screenings, lectures and many other activities. They are presented in partnership with museums, universities, schools, diplomatic representations and other cultural organizations throughout the three states.
A free kick-off concert in Houston
The Festival will be officially launched during the 8th annual kick-off concert, showcasing a bouncing mix of French, Indie & Blues rock, folk, pop and soul sounds with three bands: CharlElie Couture (France), Ariane Roy (Québec) and Vodi (Houston).
The event will take place on Friday, March 6, at Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney Street [1500, rue McKinney] in Houston, from 6 to 10 p.m. It is free, open to the public and family-friendly.
With works spanning music, photography and painting, CharlElie Couture has more than 25 albums, 17 film soundtracks, 20 books of his work, and performed 1,500 concerts worldwide.
The French-American artist, born in 1956, in Nancy, France, studied at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (National School of Fine Arts). In 1978, for his PhD, CharlElie Couture chose the theme of “polymorphism of the mind” which he still explores today. On this occasion, he self-produced 12 chansons dans la sciure — a first disk that was released in a thousand copies, which attracted the attention of professionals, and thanks to which he received an invitation to perform during the Printemps de Bourges, a major annual music festival in France — as well as presented photos, texts and paintings. In 1981, he was the first French artist to sign with the Island Records label, famous for other artists such as U2, Grace Jones, and Bob Marley. The resulting album Poèmes Rock, recorded at the Electric Lady Studio in New York, was produced by Houston-based publisher Michael Zilkha and was a major commercial success.
He moved to New York in 2004, where he later created « The RE Gallery », both a workshop and a gallery. His work has been on exhibition in Paris, Nancy, Strasbourg, Rodez, Sète, and Montpellier, France, and in Montreal and New York.
Included in his multidisciplinary works, CharlElie Couture has composed close to 20 film soundtracks; in 2019, 24 years after the original release of Toy Story, he re-recorded the French version of the leading song You’ve got a friend in me, which he also sang in the original.
Quebec City (Québec, Canada) musician Ariane Roy proposes a pop/soul alternative project. She is known to be contrasting, free and spontaneous. Singer and guitarist, she was awarded both of the ROSEQ 2019 and Pauline Julien’s grant. Ariane is a sweet mix of multiples influences that left a mark on her musical path, from folk by way of pop, soul and even jazz. Her gift of writing easily goes together with her unique tone of voice and her musical sensitivity. She will release her first EP in 2020.
Vodi is a 6-piece indie rock band based out of Houston featuring ambient keys, driving rhythms, effortless hooks and a nostalgic sound. Their debut album, Talk, has been hailed as "powerfully optimistic", "shining gold", and "beautifully crafted".
French cultures at their finest
In addition to the live music performances, concert attendees will have the opportunity to taste an exclusive selection of gourmet dishes from France and francophone countries (crêpes, quiches, pastries, macarons and other delicacies), French wines and a lot more to discover.
The French Cultures Festival is funded in part by the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, and supported by the Four Seasons Hotel Houston, Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA, the Québec Government Office in Houston, Air Liquide, the Consulate General of France in Houston, Awty International School and Sallymoon Benz.
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