About the Event
Join MASNO and the Consulat Général de France a la Nouvelle Orleans at the Residence of the Consul for Le Petit Salon featuring cellist Helen Gillet and saxophonist Rex Gregory. A light reception will follow the performance.
About the Artists
Helen Gillet is a singer-songwriter and surrealist-archeologist exploring synthesized sounds, texture, and rhythm using an acoustic cello. For someone with her varied background, New Orleans, with its mix of cultures and musics, seemed like a natural place to call home. She was born in Belgium, raised in Singapore from the ages of 2 to 11, and routinely shuttled between the homelands of her Belgian father and American mother.
Over the years — working in New Orleans with musicians of all stripes, from avant-garde jazz and classical to pop and funk — Gillet has developed a singular polyglot style. The core of her work is solo performance with live looping, layering cello parts and vocal lines. Rhythmic figures emerge with bowed or plucked ostinatos or a variety of rubbing and slapping on the body of the cello, then enhanced with melodies played or sung in her haunting alto. Her mixed musical vocabulary is commensurate with her disparate travels — French chanson of the 1940s, Belgian folk tunes sung in Walloon, a mix of rock and punk from the likes of PJ Harvey and X-Ray Spex, and her own affecting originals, like audience favorite “Julien,” sung in a mix of French and English. Gillet’s solo performance is known for its enigmatic quality as she fabricates each song with innovative use of the cello and true mastery of live looping technology.
A Seattle-based saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist, Rex Gregory has performed and/or recorded with a diverse array of luminaries such as Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Rickie Lee Jones, Jason Marsalis, Dr. John, Derek Smith aka Pretty Lights, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Stanton Moore, Herlin Riley, and many others.