The French Music Festival in Fiji and Tonga [fr]
For the 34th edition of the Fête de la Musique, the Embassy of France and the Alliance Française in Suva organised side by side a week long music festival from June 14th to 17th, supported by the New-Caledonia government and dedicated to jazz and blues.
With the New Caledonia Blues Band
The guest of honour was the New Caledonia Blues Band, group of 3 musicians (a guitarist, a violoncellist and a drummer). The New Caledonia Blues Band animated 2 master classes at the Suva Grammar School and Marist Brother High School; the schools in which French is taught by the Alliance Française. An other master-class was given to the semi-professional musicians of the National Youth Band; a music band supported by the Youth and Sports Minister. For this event, the permanent secretary of the Youth and Sports Minister, Alison Burchell attended to the master-class.
Nearly 370 students and musicians were amazed by the musicians.
The New Caledonia Blues Band, accompanied by two well known female singers, Elena and Salomé Baravilala, also gave two concerts in the capital bars where the audience met the appointment.
The other festival highlights
Must-see event of the Fête de la Musique for several years, the open stage open to 16 local bands gathered nearly 1, 500 persons on the Fiji Museum square. From 3PM to midnight, people were numerous to come together as family to listen to diverse rhythms: school and university choirs, Oceania and Indo-fijian music, blues, folk, jazz and rock.
Danse and drama were also there with the Hilton Special School dance group, the contemporary dance group VOU Dance and the New Caledonia drama company Pacifique & Compagnie which, worked with Fijian dancers and comedians for the occasion.
The guest of honour, the New Caledonia Blues Band, was accompanied by local well known musicians (the Fijian jazz-man Tom Mawi and the Fijian singer Elena Baravilala) during their performances. Finally, traditionally, the scene was also open to amateurs, so 4 bands played in public for the first time. The Fête de la Musique 2016 week in Suva enjoyed a large media coverage thanks to the embassy’s partners in newspaper and TV.
We won’t forget either the Alliance Française of Nuku’alofa, Tonga, which celebrated for the third time the Fête de la Musique. On June 25th, the Alliance française of Tonga, in collaboration with On the Spot – Art Creative, organised an open stage offering the possibility for any musician to perform in front of an audience.