Northern Michigan University’s International Performing Arts Series will present a concert by the Paris-based sextet, Les Yeux Noirs, on Tuesday, Jan. 20. The event will be held at 8 p.m. in the Great Lakes Rooms of the University Center. Violinists Eric and Olivier Slabiak founded Les Yeux Noirs 10 years ago. The classically trained Jewish brothers stumbled across the music of the Diaspora and could not get enough. They frequented small clubs and met many musicians. These new friendships led to the creation of the band, which combines violins, violoncello, accordion, electric guitar, cimbalom and electronic samples in innovative ways. Les Yeux Noirs, which is French for “The Black Eyes,” comes from the title of a Russian gypsy tune made famous by Django Reinhardt in the '30s. The group plays its own variety and melding of gypsy and Yiddish music, with a nod to French gypsy jazz—or Manouche. The sound has been described as “complex, yet wild and occasionally raucous; it gives notions of musical purity a good bruising.” France and much of Europe are following in the footsteps of the recent American Yiddish revival, and this is the origin of Les Yeux Noirs. Tickets are $6 for students, $15 for NMU faculty and staff and $20 for the general public. They may be purchased at all EZ Ticket locations or online at www.nmu.edu/tickets.
December 23, 2008