Sunlights on the St Aignan Festival 2006 - France
I am just back from the 4th "Harmonica sur Cher Festival", which I had announced here in march. I want to come back to this festival which is a true giant success, essentialy due to the association Mediator and its dynamic president Christophe Minier.
Four days full of events, it's nearly a full time job for the public to participate to concerts, workshops, conferences and night free concerts for the numerous noctambulants.
Four evening concerts with artists coming from different part of the world. They have offered us the best and I want to quote them :
- Barefoot Lano, australian, barefooted as his name tells us, generous bluesman who, with the three others of his quartet, he makes you feel happy with his compositions. Barefoot Lano, it is "dancing with kangaroos".
-Orlando Poleo Venezualian percussionnist with his group Afro-Venezuala Jazz had the idea of playing with Laurent Maur chromatic, exposing all the repertory with chorus : very brilliant !
-Sébastien Charlier and his quartet gave us a demonstration of what is his best : overblows. Charlie Mac Coy named him a "Richter alien" and he proved it once more with a jazz quartet at the same high level.
-I give the first price of this festival to an exceptionnal showman, Jason Ricci from Nashville with his quartet New Blood.
A look evocative of David Bowie, he is a sensitive, rugged, engaged bluesman with a strong presence on the scene. We were charmed by a show of an international level. And we must not forget his guitarist Shawn Dustin Stachurski with his very rocker style. They light the fire !
-To temperate these decibels floods, in the Saint Aignan collegiate church, Claude Saubestre made an excellent demonstration of the possibilities of chromatic harmonica in classical and genre music, accompanied by the talented Japanese pianist Nami Miyata.
-The program was very reach with also various good groups : Olivier Goulet et le Monde Kota, Emmanuel Frangeul in the Franco-American group Karl W. Davies & the Milkmen.
There was also a wednesday afternoon when Eric Frère Jacques told to all children a beautiful story, the Mississipi tales.
We lived those days with passion, I was like in a dream and it made it easier for me to deliver my conference on the theme : Once upon a time, a history of the harmonica, 4500 years old.
Harmonica sur Cher is one of the top worldwide harmonica festivals and will obviously keep on so. Congratulations to Mediator, to his president Christophe Minier and to all the so efficient volontaries.
Photos : Jean Labre et Jason Ricci Bluesunday
Published June 5th 2006