Jerusalem will take on something of a Gallic flavor this afternoon (Friday) from 1 p.m. to sundown when the Ma'abada hosts the annual Fete de La Musique - the day in the year when the French do their best to make sure as much of the world as possible gets a soup on of their cultural riches.
Today's free outdoor five-act program - three from France and two local outfits - features Latinesque band Trio Innova and jazz singer Laurent Assoulen. For the younger crowd, the MAP (Minist re des Affaires Populaires - Ministry of Popular Affiars) troupe offers a mix of in-your-face hip hop and comic turns, with some Middle Eastern embellishment.
According to French Cultural Center spokeswoman Edna Sayada, the idea behind the event is both to promulgate French music and to encourage other countries to offer their own artistic wares. "Fete de La Musique started in 1982 as a means of promoting French music," she says, "but we also want others to include what they have to offer in the event too."
The Israeli slots in today's proceedings at the Ma'abada include cross-cultural act BTA, comprising Balkan Beat Box veteran reedman Eyal Talmudi, double bass player Hagai Belitzki and drummer Hillel Amsallem. The other Israeli show, The Folks, is also something of a multicultural affair fronted by Israeli resident Australian-born singer Katherine Buckell, backed by four instrumentalists on bass, accordion, violin, guitar, piano, bansouri (Indian flute) and an assortment of percussion instruments. As its name suggests, the band plays folksy material with bluesy and gypsy inflections.
Derech Hevron 28 (near the old train station), Jerusalem