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Experience France at the Musical Instrument Museum

The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) is celebrating French music and culture with a two-day event. Experience France takes place July 13-14 and features music, activities and a special menu in the museum café that will have visitors feeling like they left the country.

Last year MIM had enormous success with their Bastille Day, which fueled the inspiration to make it a two-day event. “Experience France” is part of MIM’s “Unity Through Diversity” partnership with Phoenix-based Petsmart and Alliance François of Greater Phoenix. The leading message behind the partnership it that music is the language of the soul and the celebration of all the cultural diversities that music portrays.

There will be live performances on both days that are free with general admission. Cécile Hortensia, the Phoenix based singer and songwriter who combines bilingual poetry with music, will be performing songs that celebrate both her French and American heritages. Hortensia will also be performing songs that were made famous by Edith Pief in honor of the 50th anniversary of her passing.

ZAZU, a gypsy-jazz Arizona band, which performs improvisational songs in the spirit of guitarist Django Reinhart. Also performing will be Dr. James Gerber, music associate for All Saints Episcopal Church in Phoenix, who will play French masterpieces from the 16th to 20th century on MIM’s Rathke “visible” organ.

Guests can take a tour of MIM’s French exhibit and a showcase of French instruments in the Mechanical Music Gallery, by MIM Europe Curator Dr. Kathleen Wiens. The tour is free with admission and will educate guests on music, history and the instruments of France.

Guests can also learn French marching rhythms with a a special installment of MIM’s “Get the Beat! World Drumming Series.” The class is $12 a person and will highlight French drumming traditions in a fun, family-friendly way. To register for the drumming series, email grouptours@mim.org.

Complete your French experience with French entrees and wine specials at Café Allegro. On the menu are items like Coq au vin, goat cheese quiche, macarpone -and-date filled crepe, ham and cheese on a French baguette and macarons. Café Allegro will also have specials on Pillsbury wine Viognier and 2012 Chenin Blanc.