Belle du Berry

Belle du Berry

BandWorldCabaret

Singer-songwriter Belle du Berry has been appreciated world-wide over the past decade in her role as lead singer of the group Paris Combo. This new project with the combo's musician/arranger David Lewis continues their fertile collaboration.

Biography

Belle du Berry, as her name suggests, grew up in the rural Berry region in the center of France. After studying cinema in Paris, she got her first musical experiences in post-punk bands in the late 1980s and, not surprisingly, in the "rural rock" group Les Endimanchés (The Sunday Bests). Initially a rare specialist of the bass-drum, she later took up the accordion and was a part of Champêtre de Joie, a musical revue which explored French song from the early 20th century, performing acoustically - the group also worked with Philippe Découflé, performing in the choreographer's closing ceremony for the Albertville Winter Olympics in 1992.

Other theater and film projects followed - Cabaret Voltaire, a revue about the early Dadist movement; a Boris Vian tribute ("Et Vian la Zique") directed by Laurent Pelly; her role as singer Yvette Gilbert in the "Lautrec" biopic by Roger Planchon.

In 1994 she co-founded La Belle Equipe, a 5-member outfit dedicated to her own songs and a passion for gypsy swing and began performing in Parisian cafés. She also performed in the original Cabaret Sauvage, a musical cabaret/circus where she began her performing and song-writing collaboration with David Lewis

From these encounters emerged the group Paris Combo, performing an eclectic, original repertoire in cafés and barges on the river Seine - in 1997 the group, fronted by Belle's vocals recorded their first eponymous album on the (now) historic French independent label, Boucherie (Butchery). By 1999, their follow-up release, "Living-Room", allowed Paris Combo to expand their popularity in France, with a gold-record (over 200,000 sold worldwide).

With their four studio records (Attraction in 2001 and Motifs in 2004 ) and a double-live album, Paris Combo created its own unique world, establishing itself as one of the most piquant, intriguing groups in French song. Paris Combo has toured extensively in and outside France, including 12 tours of the US and trips to Australia, Brasil, Eastern Europe and South-East Asia.

David Lewis grew up in the small town of Hamilton in Victoria, Australia, and began studying piano and performing on trumpet in school bands.
He continued his musical studies at Melbourne University and then travelled to Sweden, then Paris, to study trumpet in the early 1980s. While studying at the Paris Conservatoire he also premiered a number of new works for trumpet with the collective N.A.M.E. (New American Music in Paris). After graduation, his attraction to jazz and popular music finally got the upper-hand He co-founded the group Crescent and he began to perform at jazz venues such as the New Morning, and in a wide range of other professional situations, including a short stint at the Folies Bergères...

In 1991 he joined Manu Dibango's group and toured extensively through Europe and Africa, including a historic tour of South Africa in 1993. He has also recorded and toured with many Paris-based artists including Italian singer Gianmaria Testa, Lokua Kanza, John Greaves and Arthur H and the Bachibouzouk Band.

Belle du Berry and David Lewis have continued their fertile collaboration and explore new directions with their highly anticipated album "Quizz," to be released September 2009.

Discography

"Belle du Berry" (1997)
"Living Room" (1999 - Paris Combo)
"Attraction" (2001 - Paris Combo)
"Motifs" (2004 - Paris Combo)
Several songs from the forthcoming album "Quizz" are streaming at www.myspace.com/belleduberry

Set List

two 45 minute sets