Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Music · The Gypsy Jazz of Cyrille Aimee
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The Gypsy Jazz of Cyrille Aimee

French native Cyrille Aimee grew up cavorting with Gypsies.

Kristi Kates - April 21st, 2014  

Brought up in the village of Samois-sur- Seine, Aimee saw their colorful caravans swaying as they rolled into town each June for the annual Django Reinhardt Jazz Festival.

Soon, Gypsy music beckoned. And it wasn’t long before Aimee started sneaking out to meet them at night, learning their language and their tunes before sunrise so she wouldn’t be late for school.

“I became friends with the Gypsies, and became obsessed with their way of life, and especially their music,” Aimee said. “Gypsy music reflects a sense of freedom, and living each day like it’s the last.”


By the time she was a teenager, Aimee was performing her own music in Parisian cafés and clubs, staying in Paris to attend the American School of Modern Music when the rest of her family decamped to Singapore.

The French version of the TV show “American Idol” (called “Star Academy”) was the next thing that altered Aimee’s path.

She was selected as one of only 16 semifinalists. However, after reading the show’s contract, which would keep her under their direction for the next 10 years, Aimee decided her Gypsy spirit wasn’t interested.

“It would have been a great career move, but I was more interested in learning more about music and the art of improvisation, harmony and rhythm,” she said. “Sure, I would be far more popular - but we have to be able to live with ourselves too, right?

“I don’t regret the decision one bit.”


Instead, she organized her own European backpacking tour, which helped fuse her own sound into a remarkable hybrid of musical influences.

“My music is influenced by the places I’ve been to and lived, but also by the people I’ve met, and the things that happen,” she said. “Backpacking is great for that. Living beautiful experiences in life and being exposed to other art are the best inspirations for music.”

Aimee’s latest inspirations have resulted in her newest album, “It’s a Good Day.” It was recorded in New York City at Flux Studios, a vintage room with modern equipment that has helmed other recording projects by The Black Crowes, Duncan Sheik, Santigold, Jennifer Lopez, and Queen Latifah.

“The producer, Fab Dupont, owns the studio, and he is so exceptional at what he does; he is so talented, and so incredibly musical,” Aimee said.


Mixing her roots with more contemporary influences for this project, she also combined three guitarists, each of who approach the instrument from different perspectives.

“The sound of the three different guitars together – Gypsy, Brazilian and jazz – is so beautiful and really special,” Aimee said. “The repertoire is varied and includes standards, originals, French covers and more.”

The new album, once it’s completed with bass, drums, and of course Aimee’s vocals, will serve as the follow up to Aimee’s 2013 “Live at Birdland” release with The Surreal Band.

The album included Aimee’s takes on “Blue Skies,” “Nuit Blanche,” “Well You Needn’t,” and “The Lamp is Low,” among others. Her latest set will hit outlets this upcoming August.

In the meantime, Aimee will be bringing a carefully selected setlist to a range of venues, including the jazz clubs of New York City, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

And yes, these stops extend all the way to Northern Michigan when she performs at the City Opera House in Traverse City on April 25.

“I pick songs with lyrics I can relate to and believe others can relate to,” she said. “So be ready to hear some great guitars and to have a lot of fun!”

Cyrille Aimee will be performing at the City Opera House in Traverse City on April 25 at 8pm. For tickets and more information, visit cityoperahouse.org.

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