We’ll always have Paris
Have you ever wanted to experience Paris in the 1920’s? Hanging out in cabarets with swells like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso and others (yeah, I saw the film “Midnight in Paris”)? Well on Monday night, you can almost do just that down at the Sebastiani Theatre when Michel Saga brings his special musical show “One Night in Paris” back to town. The show is billed as a “real trip to Paris with amazing gypsy jazz musicians and French singers.”
“We did our first show in Sonoma last February, and people loved it,” says Michel Saga. “I wanted to come back this y ear with a somewhat similar show but bring in new musicians and singers.” In addition to members of Saga’s own band, Rue Manouche (which means Gypsy Street), members of Hot Club of San Francisco and Duo Gadjo will also be performing.
Saga, who has lived in Sonoma for 14 years, also hosts a weekly radio show on KSVY Sun FM spinning French tunes and enlightening his audience on the culture of French music. “There is a nice population of French people in Sonoma,” says Saga, “but in San Francisco, there is a huge community of French. In fact, I believe San Francisco ranks second only to New York in the amount of French residents!”
Besides his radio gig, Saga also does voice-overs working with ad agencies in San Francisco and utilizing his accent. He has been heard in numerous national radio and television commercials and also had a role in the Pixar film “Cars 2.”
“I played the French car,” he deadpans in a telephone interview.
But it is his music career that enthuses Saga the most. “I have a revolving cast of musicians that work with me throughout the Bay Area. For our show on Monday night, the best team of musicians will be performing including Paul Mehling on guitar, Isabel Fontaine who plays guitar and also has a beautiful voice, and Jeff Magidson who is a fantastic blues guitarist.”
Tickets to “One Night In Paris” are $25 per person with half of the ticket price earmarked for the Sebastiani Theatre Foundation. 100% of all wine sales on Monday night are also being donated to the theatre’s Foundation. Tickets are available at the Sebastiani box office as well as Readers Books.
So do yourself a favor and watch Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” on Sunday night and then come out to the Sebastiani for “One Night in Paris” on Monday night. Cest Bon!
The Sonoma jazz explosion continues this weekend with three excellent shows. On Friday night, keyboardist Wayne De La Cruz along with John Hoy on guitar and Kent Bryson on drums entertain at Jazz in the Backroom at the Plaza Bistro. De La Cruz started playing music at age nine when he got a drum set and started playing along with the radio. A few years later he started playing vibraphone and in high school at age 14, he made the move to the keyboard and began playing organ and piano, and has been playing the keys ever since. His first CD, “Like Night,” was released in 2008 and features four of his original compositions.
Saturday brings Steve Lucky and Carmen Getit to the Backroom. The duo, along with Lucas Vesely, plays smart, stylish jazz with a touch of blues and an onstage banter that involves the whole audience. Getit is a dynamic performer with echoes of Ruth Brown, Etta James and Dinah Washington in her voice.
The Sonoma Valley Jazz Society is to be commended for bringing such an outstanding array of talent to our town. Please go out and support the organization and the great musicians that come to play.
And finally, on Sunday night, Denise Perrier and Swing Fever perform a mix of blues and jazz in a benefit performance for the Sonoma Valley Women’s Club. Tickets are $30 at Readers Books or call 373-0700 for more information.