Breton music in Boulder / Sonerezh breton e Boulder

Philippe Le Gallou and Nolwenn Monjarret, the Breton musicians performing in Boulder this week.

While things have been quiet here on the Blogging Brittany front, I’ve been working on a number of projects as well as my regular job. One of those projects has been bringing some friends of mine who are Breton musicians to Colorado to perform and to share a bit of Breton culture through their music. And now they’re here!

Nolwenn Monjarret is a singer of traditional Breton songs and a friend of mine. When I returned to Colorado this past year, I suggested she should come and perform in Colorado. She took me up on the offer, and now she–and guitarist Philippe Le Gallou–are on a mini music tour of the Front Range. I have never organized concerts before. It’s been quite a process, finding venues and getting the word out. It’s exciting to see it all finally come to fruition this week.

Nolwenn’s lovely voice, deep knowledge of traditional Breton song, and engaging presence make her an ideal ambassador for Breton music. Last night, Nolwenn and Philippe performed at a house concert in Lafayette, a few miles east of here. It is my first time seeing Nolwenn and Philippe perform together. Despite the jet lag, they blended so smoothly: I’d heard their album, Son Elena, already, but it was an electric experience seeing them perform live. (For a taste of Son Elena, click here.) And of course, for me, one of the best parts is hearing the Breton language here in Boulder! Nolwenn is singing in Breton, Gallo, French, English, Galician (and probably other languages, as well) this week.

I wish all of you could see them perform here in town this week. For those who are in Boulder/Denver, here’s a list of their remaining performances in the area. Each event is going to be different. Today’s is a concert-lecture, here on the CU Boulder campus, and it will include music from many Celtic nations.

Wednesday, April 11 at 4:30pm, University of Colorado Boulder

A Celtic music concert and lecture, featuring traditional songs performed by Nolwenn and Philippe from a variety of Celtic lands. Nolwenn will also give a short talk about Celtic music, and about her family’s pioneering work to preserve and promote traditional music in Brittany.

Free. Center for British and Irish Studies, 5th floor, Norlin Library.

Thursday, April 12 at 7:00pm, Boulder

An evening of Breton music and dance. Nolwenn and Philippe will perform traditional songs from Brittany in Breton, Gallo, and French. In addition, Nolwenn will be teaching some simple Breton folk dances.

$10 donation at the door. First Congregational Church, 1128 Pine St. Boulder.

Friday, April 13 at 6pm, Denver

An evening of Breton and Celtic music. Nolwenn and Philippe will perform traditional songs from Brittany in Breton, Gallo, and French, and songs from other Celtic lands as well. In addition, Nolwenn will be teaching some simple Breton folk dances.

$15 at the door. The Crossroads Theater, 2590 Washington St. Denver. Co-sponsored by Denver Sister Cities International and the Alliance Française of Denver.

Oh, and here is their facebook page, if you want to keep up with their concert schedule:

Published by

Madeleine Adkins

I'm a linguist and a writer, with a passion for the Breton language, Celtic languages in general, and endangered language communities who engage in revitalization efforts. I've published some articles about the Breton language situation in some academic journals, and I'm planning to publish more in the near future. I spent most of the last decade moving around--first to Santa Barbara (grad school), then Colorado (teaching), and then Brittany (researching the Breton language revitalization movement and improving my Breton speaking skills)--and now I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area. Even though I am living far from Brittany at this point, I still keep in touch with my friends and colleagues in the Breton-speaking world, and I'm still involved in language revitalization issues.

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