On Monday, July 9, returning for their second appearance at Bend’s Original El Burrito is the Euro Café Gypsy Jazz quartet Beaucoup Chapeaux. With an amazing and beautiful mix of accordion, violin, oboe, English horn, tenor guitar, clarinet, bass clarinet, piccolo and voice, Beaucoup Chapeaux will entrance you.
Beaucoup Chapeaux’s origins began one fall morning in 2008, when the owner of a small French café in Nevada City heard Maggie McKaig singing and playing her accordion at the farmers market. A few months later, she invited Maggie to play in the café on Valentine’s Day. Maggie agreed, and gathered together two extraordinary musical friends and cohorts, Luke Wilson, with his tenor guitar and Murray Campbell, on violin, oboe and English horn. The music was a big hit and the café owner asked the trio, “Would you come play on Friday nights?” And so, they did.
A few weeks later, the very eclectic new music composer and musician Randy McKean was in the audience. After listening to the first set, McKean asked to sit in, he just happened to have his clarinet with him, and his bass clarinet too. They began to play, and the mix was magical. And so, McKean joined the band. With a wide array of musical backgrounds and instruments, the name Beaucoup Chapeaux, which is indeed grammatically incorrect French for “many hats,” seemed a good fit.
As all who experience Beaucoup Chapeaux often exclaim, it’s just like being in a café in Europe. The band has played hundreds of concerts around the Northwest and released their first CD in summer of 2011. Along with some brilliant original music, their repertoire includes hauntingly wild and beautiful tunes from around the world.
Audiences adore this band, their music and the true joie de vivre they create. As one Facebook fan wrote, “This band is scary good -all virtuosos, all acoustic, they drive the teeming bistro bonhomie in a petit café and wherever they go.” Aside from their many gigs in Nevada County, in July 2012 the intrepid quartet will take off on their second summer tour of Oregon and Washington.