Toronto ON – It all seemed to happen so quickly. In 2009 Jill Barber was playing the prestigious Montreal Jazz Festival behind her award winning album Chances. At the insistence of a dear friend, she decided to perform for the first time ever, a French translation of one of her songs, “Tous Mes Rêves” (“All My Dreams”). Though Jill has always admired French culture, her basic high school-level language skills had previously inhibited her from properly expressing herself with her Québec audience. That all changed when she graced the stage that night in Montreal.
“I just closed my eyes, channeled Edith Piaf and began to sing. I was blown away by the response. Though my French was far from perfect, the audience clearly valued the effort. I was inspired to perform more and more in this beautiful language”.
Now, four years after that monumental show in Montreal, Jill Barber will release Chansons on Outside Music, an album of her own interpretations of classic French songs from both France and Québec.
Jill meticulously curated the repertoire herself, selecting material from a long list of over thirty songs, drawn both from her own collection, and from recommendations from friends within the Francophone community that she was now becoming a part of.
“I spent time with the songs. I strolled the streets with Aznavour, I sat in a sidewalk cafe with Piaf, poured a stiff drink with Gainsbourg, and I became absolutely enamoured and inspired by French music in the process.”
Following discussions, and a few studio sessions with her producer and arranger Drew Jurecka, she whittled the list down to the twelve songs that make up the album. “There are so many incredible songs that I would have loved to record, however I feel that this collection touches on all the aspects of French music that I love, from the sultry and romantic ballads to the whimsical and playful waltzes.”
Having earned over twenty award nominations and with two top-selling albums in English, Jill is poised to continue her burgeoning love affair with her French audience and Francophiles alike.
“Singing in French has been like rediscovering my voice, my instrument. The French language, particularly when sung, is very beautiful to me. It is a great pleasure for me to sing, and I think that enjoyment comes through.”
The first single off Chansons is “Sous le ciel de Paris” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzDtB7_XjRM) a song inspired by the 1951 French film of the same name and made famous by Piaf. “For me, this song captures the spirit of French street music, the drama, the tenderness, the romanticism, the playfulness. It’s the kind of song that instantly transports me to the cobblestone streets of Paris… or at least the Paris of my imagination.”
Jill, having just returned from a 3 week tour of Australia, will be embarking on a tour of the Maritimes in support of her latest album Mischievous Moon. She will be showing her country side by performing the songs of Hank Williams on November 25th in Vancouver at the Electric Owl, and will be in Toronto on December 1st at Massey Hall in support of Sarah McLachlan. In January, prior to the release of Chansons, Jill will be playing at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on January 18th and 19th.
JILL BARBER TOUR DATES
November 14 – Chester, NS - Chester Playhouse
November 15 – Annapolis Royal, NS – King’s Theatre
November 16 – Windsor, NS – Mermaid Theatre
November 17 – Truro, NS – Marigold Theatre
November 18 – Summerside, PEI – Harbourfront Theatre
November 20 – Florenceville/Bristol, NB – Carelton North Theatre
November 22 – Halifax, NS – Spatz Theatre w/Matthew Barber
November 25th – Vancouver, BC – The Electric Owl
December 1 – Toronto, ON Massey Hall w/ Sarah McLachlan
December 6 – Ottawa, ON – Library & Archives Auditorium
January 18/19 – Park City, Utah – Sundance Film Festival
JILL BARBER CHANSONS TRACKLISTING:
Sous Le Ciel De Paris
En Septembre Sous La Pluie
Je Cherche Un Homme
Quand Les Hommes Vivront D’amour
Les Feuilles Mortes
Plus Bleu Que Tes Yeux