A coincidental collision of occurrences brought the accordion to Maggie Kim one summer many years ago: A mysterious large and clunky suitcase containing a musty accordion was placed next to her desk by a workmate; A dear childhood friend had been smitten by the accordion and invited her to visit and attend Cotati Accordion Festival; A newfound thrill for listening to the recordings of guitarist Django Reinhardt and other manouche jazz greats had opened an awareness of the musical history of that time in France.
At Cotati festival, Maggie was wandering through the merch booths and found a set of French music books in a bin. And as she curiously perused them, a realization dawned that the books were treasure! They were a collection of hundreds of waltzes written by the accordionists who played for the flourishing bal-musette dance halls of early 20th century France. These accordionists were accompanied by manouche banjo players and guitarists, including Django himself. And just as American jazz and swing was catching fire with those guitarists in the 1920’s and 30’s, some of the accordionists joined the club and began to swing and improvise as well.
These valse musettes continue to fascinate and delight Maggie. Their amazing confluence of classical technique, manouche bravado with eastern influence, sweet and catchy American jazz and swing elements, romantic French charm, and folk dance groove provide a limitless supply of awe, inspiration and study.
Maggie’s favorite French accordionists are Gus Viseur, Jo Privat, Tony Murena, Michel Macias, Daniel Colin, Jean-Claude Laudat, Serge Desaunay. She also loves Edith Piaf, and Yann Tiersen’s music for the film Amelie. She is thrilled to play this music with the perfect ambience, delicious bites, and kind folks found at Luc.