Just because the 4th of July is over doesn’t mean you have to stop being patriotic. Only now, instead of the US, it’s time to celebrate France for Bastille Day! Before you get out your freedom fries, let me just say, as a child of two very French natives (I can decipher any accent from the mother country at this point), we are indeed a lovely people of bread, cheese, and wine. What’s not to lik
Now that I’ve converted you to Bastille Day-ism, make sure to celebrate tonight at the Atlas, which is hosting different French-inspired events all day. If you haven’t already seen Woody Allen’s new film, Midnight in Paris, do so immediately and then bask in the presence of the film’s central musician, jazz guitarist Stephane Wrembel, as he offers his first-ever performance in the District.
Wrembel, who moved to the States from France to attend the Berklee School of Music, now works as a musician based in New York. After some of Wrembel’s music was featured in Vicky Cristina Barcelona a few years ago, Woody Allen returned to Wrembel for Midnight in Paris, asking for a “typical French Parisian song,” so Wrembel wrote “Bistro Fada,” which plays throughout the film as the piece’s main theme. The track can be heard on the artist’s website: http://www.stephanewrembel.
Although “Bistro Fada” is distinctly Parisian in sound, Wrembel said his musical influences are very diverse. Attendees can expect to hear a wide range of styles.
“At age four, I was classically trained on the piano,” said Wrembel in a phone interview. He said that, although his music is inspired by the Gypsy lifestyle, he takes inspiration from many guitar styles, starting with his teenage “obsession with 70s rock” and onward into modern jazz, Indian music, and African music.
The music will begin at 8 p.m. tonight, but starting at 6:30 p.m., patrons can enjoy samples of about 15 different wines from three different regions of France. On-site cheese and crêpe makers will also be there to make sure you don’t drink on an empty stomach. Need a break from the music performances? Paris is Burning will be playing in another room.
Even if you don’t have any French blood, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate. After all, who do you think designed this fair city of ours? Pierre L’Enfant doesn’t have his own metro station for nothing.