Benoit's World News
I just came back from Japan. So the first thing I did when I got home after a 36h trip from the other side of the world via Tokyo and Shangai was not to have a shower, nor to feed the plants, read my mail or go vehicle hunting try to remember in which street I parked my car but you guessed it, to write the latest issue of my newsletter just in time. For you!
You can imagine the trauma when I landed in Gatwick, just look at what I left and what for... and to make life more interesting my basement got flooded thank you. So to find a bit of consolation this week end, I am planning to watch that classic 1943 film "Stormy Weather" showcasing some of the best black musical talent of the days. Hopefully that will bring a ray of sunshine to many of us.
My Big Fat Greek Interview
Please excuse the title, I could not resist, but it is in fact true! I got a three pages interview recently (usually it's one or two apparently) in the political and economical section of the very well loved and respected Greek national press ATHEN'S VOICE, witch enjoy the biggest readership in Greece. The Journalist is no less than the brilliant Roman Gerodimos, who is also Professor of Global Current Affairs at the University of Bournemouth.
I won't talk about it at length, it's already very long, so you can read the article there: https://www.athensvoice.gr/politismos/mousiki/809463/o-benoua-vielefon-milaei-apokleistika-stin-athens-voice/
And if you think can't read it because you don't speak greek despite going there often on holiday, think again! You can certainly copy and paste it in Google translate (which you know how to use when you try to buy booze in your favourite greek island by the way). But it's just an suggestion...
The article is very good of course, talking mostly about how music is linked to history, politics, economical and social factors, wars, consumption, cultural trends, and how playing 1920/1930s music today is relevant a century later. Spoiler: the cycle of late 1920's crises and rise of populism is showing it's ugly face again in the 2020's, so is it time for a jazz revival?
DANCE FIRST: HOLLYWOOD FILM
2023 was a good year for me on in the cinema department. After arranging and recording two tracks in January for Netflix "The Crown", and appearing on screen with the whole Orchestra in the series; I've been asked in February to record 4 tracks for the new feature film of BAFTA and Academy Award winner director James Marsh. For those that don't know him, he directed "The theory of everything" about the life of nobel prize scientist Steven Hawkins", and many other great movies and documentaries.
This new "masterpiece" according to the Guardian, is also a biopic, but this time it's about the tumultuous life of Samuel Becket, it is called "Dance First" and it's out now!
Ok, I must be honest, I have not had a chance to see it yet but the reviews look great. James Marsh asked me to rearrange some 1918-1925 songs by the Original Dixieland Band, and Fletcher Henderson for a small band format. Luckily I got the best people available in this island in that particuliar style at very short notice. They did the job brilliantly at the now demolished Buffalo Studios in Cable Street London E1. In case you wonder, we did not demolish the recording studio ourselves with our ground-breaking performance, but the building was replaced by an "exciting new development of affordable luxury flats" only priced in millions, once again.
I heard the director used most of tracks but not all of them, so he asked us post-production to record "I'm just a gigolo" by Fats Waller, timed exactly as the original because that is what they used on set. in case you wonder, that is a near impossible thing to play on the piano but Liam Dunachie made a brilliant job of it, as you would expect.
The complete crew over 2 days was: Mike Henry Trumpet, Trevor Whiting Tenor Saxophone & Clarinet, Graham Read Bass Saxophone and Tuba, Alex Bryson Piano, Liam Dunachie Piano, Tom Wheatley Doublebass, Robbie Ellison Drums, Benoit Viellefon (it's me) Guitar, the Engineer was JB Pilon.
If any of you get to see the movie, please let me know what you think and send an email. I'm looking forward to seeing it.
2023 Concerts SOLD OUT... almost.
You read it correctly, all the remaining 2023 concerts are sold out except two that we've just recently announced:
November 29th - Brunswick Theatre
December 1st - Toulouse Lautrec Jazz club
Please book soon if you want to see us live before 2024!
Although I have never bothered with it, I have decided to start using Instagram because I have just understood how crucial it is to be on it 24/7 to become a musical sensation and maybe even earn minimum wage one day!
Yes fellows, I got it now:
"INSTAGRAM" stands for "INSTANT GRAMMY AWARD"!
How could I be so stupid?
I promise to all 7000+ of you on the mailing list that if you join my Instagram account today I will post photos of myself eating weird stuff in Japan, me on random beaches, landscapes, shopping malls and train stations, some panoramic videos with Godzilla chasing me, my feet on a beach of course, and some cute cats doing stuff to me on a funny sountrack. But I should post some clips of new musics and other goodies too, don't worry.
The link is here: https://www.instagram.com/benoitviellefon/
Please use the tags: #benoitviellefon @benoitviellefon
If a 1000+ of you join this, I promise to post all the stuff I mentioned above, and god knows that this is torture for me.
But that, according to music industry marketing gurus, is essential these days to get a record and publishing deal. I'll keep you informed in the next issue about the progress made.
Life is hard, inflation is high, and the prospect of making a living playing music look worse by the day.
Please subscribe to my music for £20 a year (or £1.66 a month) and get access to everything I have ever recorded and more ( + free tickets to selected concerts for example worth £20-£45).
I have cut the price by half for you. By subscribing you will help me to raise funds to record and market my next studio album, the production of which had to be stopped due to spiralling costs.
My whole catalogue of 11 albums is available exclusively in Bandcamp at £8 each per download (£96 in total). But is you are scared of financial Armageddon and want to save yourself a fortune, you can subscribe for £20 a year instead. A bargain!
From the Editor
That’s it folks, It's was a bit long but I hope it was good, or at least "a bit good". For complaints and accolades please email me, I will respond.
A bientot. (French: meaning "See you soon")