Is it possible to fall in love with a city in just two days? I know it is! Last month I was in Besançon, France for 48 hours and now I can't wait to get back. The capital of the Franche-Comté and birth place of Victor Hugo may just be the best kept secret of the eastern region. The city has a beautiful historic downtown with charming squares, streets with cobble stones and 18th century buildings that make you feel like you have been transported back in time. In a good way, that is.
I was in the city to promote my music tour that will take place in April of this year to celebrate 10 years of friendship between Besançon and my hometown, Charlottesville. I met and played music with local musicians, talked about my new CD and the music tour on Radio France Bleu (listen to it in French here), spoke with newspaper reporters (read it in French here), received the 'Clef de la Ville' (key to the city) from the deputy mayor, and got to know a little bit of the city, with the help of my good friends over there. The Bisontins - that is the name for the inhabitants of Besançon - went out of their way to make my two-day trip worth every minute. Thanks to my French "road manager," Jean, who tirelessly worked to get me from one place to the other on time, I can look back on a very successful promotion trip.
Our meetings took place in the theater where we will perform some of the concerts, Le Scènacle. It is located in one of the city's oldest neighborhoods, at the base of La Citadelle, Besançon's famous fortress that was designed by Louis XIV's architect Sébastien le Prestre de Vauban. Part of the theater is a beautiful little chapel that dates back to 1875, which is a cool place for receptions and concerts as well. Founder Quentin Juy, who came to Charlottesville a couple of years ago with theater group Bacchus, will be our generous host when we play at Le Scènacle in April.
It is very exciting to think that in less than two months, I will be traveling to France with band members Matty and Rick, to perform with our colleagues from Besançon, in an ultimate musical liaison, worthy of 10 years of friendship between Charlottesville and her sister city.
Stay tuned for more, as I will be reporting - live - from France this spring!
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