(Photo provided to China Daily)
Audiences in more than 19 cities across the Chinese mainland have been enjoying an ongoing festival of French music that ends on Sunday.
Titled the Music Day in China, the festival features five groups of French bands and musicians, including King Krab, French 79 and Las Aves. The concerts are free. In 2016, the Music Day in China attracted nearly 3.8 million music lovers, who came to the live venues or watched the shows via internet livestreaming.
One headliner this year is Simon Henner, French DJ, composer and multi-instrumentalist, who is known by his stage name, French 79. He displays his synth-driven beats mixing with techno and pop. Inspired by American hip-hop trio Beastie Boys and French electronic music duo Daft Punk, Henner will premiere his new album in China.
Las Aves, the electo-pop quartet from Toulouse, France, is a project reborn out of The Dodoz, a rock and post-punk band. Blending genres and melodies, from pop to synth, from languid sounds to rock, they also bring their debut album Die in Shanghai on tour in China.
Other musicians on the program list include King Krab, which consists of two brothers from Marseille, and Colours in the Street, a four-man band inspired by British pop.
Music Day in China is part of the ongoing annual Croisements ("crossing") Festival, which has grown into one of the biggest foreign cultural events in China since its launch in 2006. A window into France, the annual festival brings music, dance, theater, movie, art and literature activities across the country. The program's emphasis is on Franco-Chinese artistic collaborations, with invitations to French artists who draw their inspiration from Chinese life and culture.
"Music brings people together and with this French music extravaganza, audiences in China will be introduced to a different culture and music experience," says Cui Jian, the veteran Chinese rock musician, who is one of the ambassadors of the Croisements Festival.
Cui's longtime music partner and friend, Yang Le, performed at the opening concert of the Music Day in China, which was held in Beijing on Sunday. Having spent more than three years in France, the singer-songwriter says that he was inspired by local musicians, who "are versatile with various kinds of instruments".
Created in 1982 by Jack Lang, the French minister of culture at the time, the Music Day is a large, free and popular event dedicated to all types of music, from jazz to pop and rock, classical music and world music. The festival is held in over 450 cities of more than 100 countries.