Archives of Past EventsA brief history of how we started is below.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2017 at 8 PM.
We packed so much into three days, the only complaint was "can we do this in four or five days next time?" Here's some of what we did:
AUGUST 18, 2017 four weeks to go!
Join us to create a "cabaret connection" between Chicago and Paris. The Chicago Paris Cabaret Connexion Conference, which will take place in Paris from September 15-17, is becoming one of the most important gatherings devoted to advancing the art of cabaret in the United States and in France. More and more French professionals, influential participants of cabaret, are joining the discussion. Among the French participants, the conference is attracting songwriters, historians, performers, authors and journalists, including:
Our principal activists:
- Marie-Thérèse Orain, a grande dame from the golden era of Parisian cabaret,
- the editor-singer Christian Stalla (one of the active figures from the famous Cabaret de l'Ecluse),
- actress-singer Mylène Launay.
We are pleased to be joined by
- singer-songwriter Nathalie Joly
- singer Xavier Lacouture, member of the ADAMI board
- singer-songwriter Gilbert Laffaille
- pianist Jean-Claude Orfali (a regular at the Lapin Agile)
- musician Gilles Tcherniak, director of the Forum Léo Ferré
- historian-author Michel Trihoreau, accompanied by singer-songwriter Michel Grange
- Yves Bertrand, author and historian of Marcel Legay
- producer/videographer Eric Nadot, fervent supporter of cabaret
- journalist Martin Pénet, historian of chanson
Organizations that support us include:
- Literary Society of La Poste and Orange (Studio Raspail Theater)
- The Musée de Montmartre
- L'Harmattan publishers
- L'Atelier du Chant
The Chicago delegation currently has more than a dozen singers led by singer-pianist-composer Elizabeth Doyle and singers-actress Kat Victoria and Claudia Hommel. Hommel and Doyle are co-founders of Chicago Cabaret Professionals. Kat Victoria is known for her shows that celebrate Black singers like Eartha Kitt and Lena Horne.
Clockwise from top: Barb Smith, Elizabeth Doyle, Claudia Hommel, Jo Rainey, Kat Victoria and Ava Logan
Every day we will have a round table with speakers to discuss the cabaret profession, address the current issues and future of cabaret. The masterclasses in song interpretation are intended for professionals and advanced amateurs, to make a real exchange of our training methods. For the sake of efficiency, we have fixed maximum of 8 US singers and 8 French singers, and will work with a wide repertoire (realistic song, pop, American Songbook, jazz, blues, musical, etc.).
We expect a wide audience to attend our Saturday and Sunday evenings round table discussions, buffet suppers, concerts and jam sessions.
Come to the big concert of Saturday night at the Studio Raspail, the entrance is free!
Click on the following image to see video excerpts of our July 23 concert in Chicago.
We had a fabulous concert in Chicagoland's North Shore on August 13. Thank you for helping us raise $5000 at two concerts!
Broadway World previewed it here. How exciting to work with our friend Johnny Rodgers who's known for music directing, touring and recording with Liza Minnelli (see him with Liza's at the Palace on PBS)!
MEDIA ADVISORY announces July 23 concert
Chicago and Paris Reviving the Art of Cabaret
A series of fundraising events in Chicago begins with a concert at Piano Forte Chicago (1335 S. Michigan Ave.) on Sunday, July 23, 2017 at 6:30 PM, headlined by legendary diva Lynne Jordan, with Claudia Hommel, Elizabeth Doyle, Kat Victoria, Ava Logan, Cynthia Clarey and other well-known Chicago cabaret performers supporting this initiative.
Full text here
Marie-Thérèse Orain joins us in Paris !
This grande dame, an artist with an impressive biography, is above all a woman who fascinates and whom we listen to with passion, her diction is remarkable, her voice captivating, and her energy positively contagious!
Marie-Thérèse has very kindly accepted to support our project by joining our first exchange of the Chicago Paris Cabaret Connexion! She will be able to share with us her feelings about the work, tell us about her long career, and may coach the master class on Saturday, September 16th. Learn more here.
A brief history of how the Connexion came about
The intimate art form of cabaret was born in Paris in the 1880s, in venues where performer and audience were close together in a relaxed setting, reaching each other with song and poetry.
But as of the mid-2010s, contemporary Paris has had no easy way to identify the practitioners, venues or events of intimate song. Apart from Cabaret Lapin Agile, what is called "cabaret" by the Paris tourism bureau is "Moulin Rouge" style spectacle and comedy rather than intimate song.
In the United States, cabaret associations began forming in the 1980s and 1990s to advocate the art of cabaret such as Mabel Mercer Foundation in NY, Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs, Boston Association of Cabaret Artists, Saint Louis Cabaret Conference and Festival, Cabaret West, etc. In Chicago in 1997, Claudia Hommel initiated the gathering of cabaret performers that led to the founding of the Chicago Cabaret Professionals.
In December 2016, Claudia was in Paris to lead a master class when she learned that the Centre de la Chanson, a major center for songs and singer-songwriters, was closing down (rather abruptly, in fact) for lack of state subsidies. The dependence on state funding, the lack of a membership-driven base to keep it alive, got her to wondering if we could bring the Chicago experience to our French cohorts to become more visible, and in return, we could learn from their rich legacy of European cabaret. With her longtime colleague Elizabeth Doyle and Lynne Jordan, and soon Roxane Assaf and Natalja Aicardi, they proposed a singers exchange with Paris.
On the Paris side, Claudia recruited Mylène Launay to be our French correspondent, without whom this project simply wouldn't have happened. Meanwhile, French cabaret scholar Jacques Protat led us to the publishing house l'Harmattan's 40-plus book Collection Cabaret and its editor Christian Stalla. Christian in turn led us to historian Michel Trihoreau, Marie-Thérèse Orain, Yves Bertrand, and a passel of young singers to participate in our first exchange. Marie-Thérèse found us fellow singers like Anne Sylvestre, Xavier Lacouture, Gilbert Laffaille to share a round table discussion, and most importantly introduced our project to an essential administrator Danielle Mazens who offered us a theatre, publicity and a structure for the future. Claudia's master class accompanist Jean-Claude Orfali brought us singer-songwriter Michèle Barbier who had been Josephine Baker's private secretary from 1969 to 1971. Mylène encouraged Christian Bassoul and dozens of fans from the Sunday petit bal musette de la rue Mouffetard to join in.
The amazing thing is how the pieces fell into place for three fabulous days in Paris, September 15 to 17, 2017. Where one person stepped aside, another stepped in her place. In Chicago a dozen singers came forward to perform two benefit concerts that raised almost $5000. Registration fees from our Chicago delegation brought in $3000 and Claudia's fans helped raise an additional $3000. In Paris, singers were recruited from as far as Sète on the Mediterranean.
With the inestimable encouragement of Marie-Thérèse Orain, the Americans were welcomed open-armed by Danielle Mazens, director at the Fondation de la Poste's Studio Raspail. This 250-seat 1930 art deco venue right off of Boulevard Montparnasse hosted a roundtable discussion, a history presentation and a culminating concert. Young artists, new artists, and artists with considerable history to share, including Michèle Barbier, Yves Bertrand and Christian Stalla and others participated to make real the first CONNEXION.
Correspondante à Paris
Mylène Launay : 06 71 83 70 65
Correspondent in Chicago
Claudia Hommel : 1-773-509-9360
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Working in Concert is the umbrella under which all of Claudia's collaborations take place.