Les Yeux Noirs
Les Yeux Noirs (French for black eyes) are currently touring the US in support of its CD simply entitled Live. Taking their name from a Russian gypsy tune made famous by the legendary Django Reinhardt of the 1930’s, Les Yeux Noirs perform a blend of Gypsy, Yiddish and French Gypsy jazz. The sextet’s tour kicked off at the beginning of February and will bring the group to Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, California, Washington, Oregon and Montana (Sounds like the campaign trails for the US presidential hopefuls).
Les Yeux Noirs repertoire echoes the frenzied excitement of a Jewish wedding or a gypsy celebration. With just the right blend of klezmer music and gypsy melodies, this romp is loads of fun. This group pleases fans of Tom Waits’ cultural diversity, Emil Kusturica’s films and the musical, Fiddler on the Roof. Formed 10 or so years ago by two violinist brothers, Eric and Olivier Slabiak after they fell in love with klezmer music toured the US in 2002 and now this “boyband of a lost era,” (Bangkok Post) have returned with their lamenting strings, heartfelt vocals and frenzied Gypsy romps.
Les Yeux Noirs can be described as a marriage between Roma gypsies and a Jewish village. And as you might imagine, the group’s music features both mournful laments about the suffering that both groups have endured throughout the centuries, but especially during Hitler’s reign, but the songs here also celebrate life. Similar to the Argentine tango or the Spanish flamenco, despair can inspired danceable numbers and catharsis. After all, it is possible to be happy and sad at the same time as well as, to laugh and cry simultaneously. Les Yeux Noirs reminds us that we are after all only human and the songs here inspire us to live the human experience fully and in the moment.
Les Yeux Noirs puts loads of passion into their craft that reflects the musicians’ love of gypsy and klezmer music as they honor the traditions that came before them. The musicians perform on mostly acoustic instruments including violin, violoncello, accordion, cimbalom, but have also added electric guitar and electronic samples to their latest repertoire. Let these European virtuosos lead you towards a wild gypsy experience.
02/19 Little Fox, Redwood City, CA
02/20 Henflings, Ben Lomond, CA
02/21 Marin JCC, Helena, MT
02/24 Century Ballroom, Seattle, WA
02/25 Bend Senior High School, Bend, OR
02/27 Alberta Blair, Billings, MT
02/28 Whitefish Theatre, Whitefish, MT