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Experience France

Signature Events

Event Details

Experience the joie de vivre of French culture with the whole family this Bastille Day with lively manouche jazz and saxophone performances, screenings of Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and an instrument craft for kids.

Sponsored by APS
Supported by Alliance Française of Greater Phoenix and Phoenix Sister Cities Grenoble Committee

Gifts Available for Purchase
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Shop the Museum Store for books about French culture, CDs, and imported gifts from France during your day of festivities at MIM.

Chapeau Chinois Craft
9:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Make your own chapeau chinois, or “Chinese hat,” a percussion instrument adopted by Europeans from Turkish Janissary bands as early as the sixteenth century. Also known as the Turkish crescent or Jingling Johnny, the chapeau chinois can be seen and heard on the orchestra stage and in military processions alike. Come build your own jingling version of this ceremonial instrument and then check out a full-size version at the France display in the Europe Gallery.

Photo Booth
9:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Have your picture taken with fun musical props at MIM’s custom photo booth, and instantly get your own copy to take home.

Family Film Screening: The Hunchback of Notre Dame
10:00–11:30 a.m.
Be sure to stop in for a screening of Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame! This classic French tale of friendship and adventure based on Victor Hugo’s famous novel will take you on a journey through the streets of Paris set to the music of acclaimed film composer Alan Menken. Stay for just a few minutes, or until the credits roll, but don’t miss this exciting, musical animated film!

“Strolling” French Accordion
10:00–10:30 a.m.
Talented local musician Tony Putrino will kick off the day’s live music with a unique performance on the move, playing French tunes as he walks through MIM’s El Río lobby. Take a seat on a nearby bench or follow along with him as accordion music fills the halls.

Guest Lecture: French Chanson: Brel, Brassens, and a Taste of Bénabar”
10:30–11:15 a.m.
The French chanson, or “song,” has origins dating back to the Middle Ages, evolving from epic poems into the modern musical form widely appreciated today. Join MIM volunteer team member Dr. Per Schelde, a part-time resident of Paris and French music connoisseur with a PhD in linguistic anthropology, on a journey through histoire musicale française to learn more about two of the greatest chansonniers, Jacques Brel and Georges Brassens, whose musical styles have influenced some of today’s most famous musicians.

Face Painting
11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Add a touch of color and whimsy to your look! Have your face painted with a custom design by the artists of Evolving Through Art.

French Renaissance Music Performance
11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
The early music ensemble Bartholomew Faire has performed their imaginative interpretations of medieval and Renaissance music on period instruments throughout the Valley of the Sun since 1996. This weekend, Bartholomew Faire will share selections from their program Orchésographie: The Renaissance Dances, based on a 1589 dance treatise which details notation and choreography for popular dances of the late sixteenth century, including pavans, gaillardes, gavottes, and various branles. Their mastery of the rich textures and harmonies found in medieval and Renaissance music paired with their beautifully crafted instruments will surely leave you wanting more!

French-Inspired Lunch Menu Available for Purchase
11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Enjoy a delicious menu of French-inspired cuisine in MIM’s Café Allegro. The menu will include French onion soup, confit de canard, nicoise salad with tuna, and fresh-fruit crepes for dessert!

Curator Talk: “French Musical Innovators: The Notre Dame School and the Motet”
12:30–1:15 p.m.
Join associate curator David Wegehaupt as he describes the revolutionary musical developments which occurred at the Notre Dame Cathedral while it was being built in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and learn how the next generations of French composers would further build upon the Notre Dame School’s ingenuity. Using illustrative audio examples and images, Wegehaupt will introduce the music of innovative French composers from the medieval and Renaissance eras.

Manouche Jazz Performance
1:30–2:15 p.m.
Be sure to catch the Arizona band ZAZU for a swinging good time during this unforgettable performance. ZAZU has been bringing the infectious sounds of manouche jazz to the Phoenix valley for over a decade and returns to MIM this year to share this distinctive French musical style popularized in the 1930s by Romani guitarist Jean “Django” Reinhardt.

Artist Encounter: Paris Chansons
2:30–3:00 p.m.
Meet four of the performers in Paris Chansons, the French band with a Russian twist, based in Los Angeles. In this special artist encounter and Q&A, Julia and Jacob Kantor (vocals and guitar), Max Cohen (vocals), and Endre Balogh (violin) will share stories about the origins of the group as well as some anecdotes about the iconic artists Charles Aznavour, Enrico Macias, and Joe Dassin. During this program you can also hear Paris Chansons perform some of their most beloved songs.

Continue your French weekend at MIM and see Paris Chansons live in concert. The full ensemble will perform in the MIM Music Theater at 7:00 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Concert tickets are sold separately and available here.

French Saxophone Music Performance
3:15–4:00 p.m.
Conclude your day of French music with a performance by MIM’s very own musical team members! Come listen as they pay tribute to Adolphe Sax, who found his fame in Paris over 150 years ago and is celebrated around the world for inventing the saxophone. Every day, MIM team members share their passion and love for musical instruments with guests, but it is on rare occasions like this one when their own musical capabilities are put on display, as we count them among Arizona’s myriad of musical talent!

Café Allegro Lunch Menu Highlights

French Onion Soup
Made with Sourdough Baguette, Gruyère Cheese, Fresh Herbs, and House-Made Beef Broth

Made with White Beans, Smoked Ham Hocks, and Garlic Sausage

Confit De Canard
With Summer Berry Gastrique, Brabant Potatoes, and Asparagus

Nicoise Salad with Tuna
With Nicoise Olives, Crisp Lettuce, Haricot Vert, Tomato, Egg, and Potato

Seasonal Crepe with Fresh Fruit and Whipped Cream