Bay Area
Francophile List

Published by Suzanne Toczyski, Sonoma State University

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For Special Musical Events,
see "This Week's Events," accessible from the BAFL Homepage.
For general news about the music world, see below.

(Posted September 2016) New FRENCH RADIO PROGRAM:  UNE BOUTEILLE A LA MER with JUSTINE LEGOAS, Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant at Sonoma State University. KSUN Radio, Thursdays from 12pm to 2pm.  In French and English.  Includes news reviews, music, political news, cultural and linguistic differences, poetry and more… Listen to it online at or via the Sonoma State App (available on the Apple App store).  If you are a francophone or francophile interested in being interviewed on the program, please contact Justine Legoas at


BAGUETTE QUARTETTE is the only Ensemble in North America exclusively devoted to the tradition of Parisian Café Music from 1920 to 1950.  Accordionist Odile Lavault, born in the heart of Paris played for many years in the cafés and streets of the capital, before moving to Berkeley in 1992. Here, she gathered around her wonderful musicians attracted by her amazing knowledge of this music, its style and its original performers.  BAGUETTE QUARTETTE wide repertoire includes all the popular dances of the time: valse musette, java, tango, fox trot, paso doble and marche plus French chansons. Lavault introduces the vocal selections in her beguiling English, taking audiences back to the tiny alleys of Paris, the bistros, the lives and passions of colorful characters.  BAGUETTE QUARTETTE has earned an enthusiastic following seduced by the authentic flavor as well as the charm and musicality of the arrangements. The band can be heard in concerts, in period dance events, and at society functions.  BAGUETTE QUARTETTE has four compacts discs available: “L’air de Paris” (1995), “Rendez-vous” (1998), “Chez-moi” (2001), “Toujours” (2004). Selected tracks from these recordings are featured on numerous compilations.

RAQUEL BITTON.  PIAF INTEREST SURGE – RAQUEL BITTON LEADS EDITH PIAF REVIVAL. French Jazz singer Raquel Bitton re-release tribute CD "Raquel Bitton sings Edith Piaf" Also in distribution is a new Piaf Film on DVD (Lionsgate Films) "PIAF: her story, her songs"- written by and starring Raquel Bitton, a feature film that captures the essence of Edith Piaf and tells her story through her music. San Francisco, CA (Billboard Publicity Wire) June 4, 2007 -- Sparrow Productions Inc. the artist management company for French Jazz singer Raquel Bitton. announces the re-release of her acclaimed tribute CD "Raquel Bitton sings Edith Piaf". Originally released in 2000, Bitton's re-release was sparked by a surge in interest in "all things Piaf", including the legendary French icons signature song No Regrets recently heard in an eBay commercial.  Through the years, pop icons including the likes of David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith, Faith Hill, Grace Jones, Cyndi Lauper and Dr. John have proclaimed that Edith Piaf was a great inspiration to them. Throughout her career, Marrakech born and San Francisco resident, Raquel Bitton has masterfully revived Piaf's repertoire from performing in small jazz clubs to the grand concert halls of North America including sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall. "Raquel Bitton sings Edith Piaf" on CD is currently in stores at leading retail outlets including Borders, Barnes and Noble and is available online at, and for downloads at Also in distribution is a new Piaf Film on DVD (Lionsgate Films) is "PIAF: her story, her songs" -- written by and starring Raquel Bitton, a feature film that captures the essence of Edith Piaf and tells her story through her music. Bitton's heart-wrenching performance earned her "Most Moving Film Experience" at the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival, a Gold Telly Award, international critical acclaim along with praise from many of Piaf's composers, authors, and close friends who appear in the film. About Raquel Bitton: Raquel Bitton is recognized as the foremost singer of French Jazz Music (of the golden era) in the world today. She is also internationally praised as the leading interpreter of the music from the Edith Piaf repertoire. For more information visit: Website: or YouTube: (La Vie En Rose / Bravo Pour Le Clown Photo Gallery) Contact: Sparrow Productions Inc. Email:   Ph: 415.883.3393.  (Above text from:

THE HOT CLUB OF SAN FRANCISCO, led by PAUL MEHLING, has just released a new CD:  BOHEMIAN MAESTRO:  DJANGO REINHARDT AND THE IMPRESSIONISTS.  Azica Records, $17.98.  Reviewed in the March 29, 2009 SF Chronicle Datebook (pink pages), p.38.

KING WAWA AND THE ONENESS KINGDOM BAND.  The Oneness Kingdom Band is an original band skillfully flavored with a distinctive variety of music destined to transport the listener to a different world. With Haiti as your first destination- enjoy the ride as you are piloted onward for an uplifting and spirited musical journey through Latin America, Africa and Brazil. The sound is tropically unique with a magic pulsation agreeable to the heart and powered to make your dance! Everyone will love the Caribbean rhythms of King Wawa and The Oneness Kingdom Band!  Contact 510.410.6963 or visit or email or

DEBORAH KUHL.  Deborah Kuhl performs French music from 1930s to the present. Returning to the Bay Area in 2004, after 18 years in France and Algeria, she put together a repertoire of her favorite French songs to share with francophiles in the Bay Area. With her crystal clear voice, she accompanies herself on piano to perform a wide variety of styles including folk, soft rock, country, and jazz. Aram Boyd accompanies her with his electronic valve instrument--it plays like a trumpet but has the wide range of sounds you can expect from a synthesizer.

AN EVENING OF FRENCH CABARET. Join us and be transported to Paris for an evening of French cabaret. Edith Piaf, Mistenguette, Maurice Chevalier, Jacques Brel, Josephine Baker - let their words enchant you! Featuring Moana Diamond, Craig Jessup and Danny Slomoff along with Jerry Frohmader on piano, Dartanyan Brown on bass and Ron Sfarzo on accordion. One Thursday per month at142 Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley. 415.383.9600 or for details. 8pm.

HELENE ATTIA. Singer/guitarist Helene Attia performs a wide selection of music, including world jazz, pop, and Latin which she sings in French, English, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. She is available to perform as a soloist or with her band, for concerts, weddings, private parties, festivals, conventions and private events. For booking information please contact her at: (510) 508-3611 , or visit her at

XAVIER DE LA PRADE, ACCORDIONIST and specialist of French café music, can lead sing-a-longs with lyrics to over 50 French songs. M. de la Prade often plays for the Alliances of Marin and Santa Rosa along with the Lafayette Club of Marin County. Anyone needing a French accordionist should contact him directly at 415.662.2105.

HENRI-PIERRE KOUBAKA performs ancient and contemporary Mandingo Music from Senegal, Mali, Guinea and Kongo with vocals and acoustic guitar. When not performing solo Henri-Pierre Koubaka leads a band which often incorporates a variety of instruments such as balafon, violin , cello, bass . guitar . This large ensemble may also feature dancers while the unavoidable percussion section contributes secular and spiritual rhythms. 510.501.1900.

DIAMANO COURA WEST AFRICAN DANCE COMPANY.  Founded in 1975 by dance scholars Zak Diouf and Naomi Washington, this Oakland company is known to raise the roof with its joyous drumming and dancing.  Diamano Coura means ‘those who bring the message’ in Wolof and these powerhouse dancers in traditional dance do just that.  510.733.1077 or for details.


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