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    Bastille Day Party 2014

    Presented by and World Music/CRASHarts

    July 11, 2014


    Bastille Day Party 2014

    The French Cultural Center's 39th Bastille Day Party returns to Marlborough Street for what promises to be the celebration of the summer! This year's lineup, programmed by World Music/CRASHarts, will feature two phenomenal francophone acts: H’Sao, whose explosive dance beats from Chadian roots blend soul, jazz and R&B and Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate, a mind blowing American-Guinean duo fusing hip-hop and funk with reggae and African grooves.

    Back Bay's beautiful Marlborough Street will be blocked off between Berkeley and Clarendon Streets to accommodate 2,000 revelers dancing in the street.

    Delicious French food from some of Boston's best French restaurants and drinks, including beer & wine, will be available for sale.

    The French Cultural Center Bastille Day will be a party in true French style with live music and dancing in celebration of community, cultural diversity, and friendship between nations.


    Joe Driscoll and Sekou Kouyate blend hip-hop, spoken word, funk, and soulful, accessible rock with Afrobeat, reggae and irrepressible African grooves. Joe Driscoll, whom Cee-Lo Green labelled "the gangsta with an iron lung" contributes the rapping, looping, beatboxing and songwriting talents he refined growing up in Syracuse, New York and during his own successful solo recording career. Sekou Kouyate, raised in the West African country of Guinea and known in France as the "Jimi Hendrix of the kora," sings in French and his native Susu language. He takes music to a new dimension with his hypersonic electrified riffs on the kora, bringing the exalted West African harp into the 21st Century with use of distortion peddles, effects and previously-unimagined technical prowess.

    Their debut album Faya, released in February 2014, immediately earned praise from tastemakers and devoted fans across Europe where the duo has performed in many of the continent's top festivals and venues. Faya reached the number 2 spot on the prestigious World Music Charts Europe, a survey of top music DJs across the continent. Their album earned Joe & Sekou a nomination for Best Cross-Cultural Collaboration from Songlines, the UK’s definitive global music magazine.


    Virtuoso singers with amazing a cappella renditions, brothers Caleb, Mossbass, Israel Rimtobaye and their childhood friend, Dono Bei Ledjebgue make up the young, talented group, H’Sao. Originally from Chad, now living in Montreal for almost 15 years, they draw inspiration from gospel, traditional African music and its Chadian roots. Adding to this compelling combination is their love of soul, jazz and R&B. Their voices are magnificent, true and powerful, and their original compositions and unique style makes their on-stage energy contagious… not to mention the mesmerizing numbers of African dance.

    In 1995, the band changed its name from Hirondelle (swallow) to H’Sao, meaning literally “Saos’ swallow” (the Saos are ancestors of the people of Chad). Since its inception, H’Sao’s African beat and message of hope has resonated from France to Australia, by way of Haiti, Sweden, Canada and South Africa. Vol. 235, their 2nd album, released September 2009, was nominated for a Félix award from l'Association Québécoise de L'Industrie du Disque, du Spectacle et de la Video (ADISQ) and a Sounds of Blackness Award (SOBA), the annual Canadian award in hip hop and urban music. In July 2010 H’Sao performed a concert in honor of Queen Elizabeth II during her last visit to Canada. Their newest album, ORIA, released in February 2013, was also nominated for a Félix award.


    Bastille Day, France's national holiday, is celebrated on July 14th, commemorating the storming of the Bastille prison on that day in 1789. The holiday celebrates the people's uprising against the monarchy and espouses the three pillars of the French republic: Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.


    Gates open at 6:00pm. Music ends at 10:00 pm. This is a rain or shine event. Tickets are non-refundable.

    Strollers and backpacks are not allowed.

    French Cultural Center

    53 Marlborough St
    Boston, MA 02116

    Full map and directions

    Admission Info:

    $28 in advance

    $35 at the door (subject to availability)

    Free for children under 10

    General Day and Time Info:

    Doors open at 6pm. Music starts at 7pm.

    Phone: 617-912-0400

    Accessibility Information:

    Official Website

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