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Arts at UD

Emerging Singer-Songwriter ?to Perform at the University of Dayton

Francesca Blanchard, a French-born bilingual singer-songwriter, will make her Ohio debut at the University of Dayton on February 4. Presented by ArtsLIVE the performance will be held at 8:00 PM in the intimate Sears Recital Hall, a perfect venue for Blanchard’s warm melodies. A complimentary pre-concert chocolate-themed reception in the lobby begins at 7:15 PM.

Now living in New England, Blanchard draws on her memories of her Mediterranean childhood for inspiration in her music: “bare feet on terra cotta tiles, fuchsia sunsets, fresh mistral breezes, the aroma of lavender and evening cricket choirs.” These lifting melodies reflect la vie douce (“the sweet life”) of youth, as well as her experience of the world.

A singer from infancy and a songwriter since childhood, Blanchard’s musical influences are as eclectic as her upbringing. Her family's soundtrack included folk, rock, jazz, French chanson and pop, classical, soul, world music and musical  theater -- a diverse playlist that reflected the open-minded aesthetic of her multicultural household. Captivated at age 10 by her mother’s performance of “Blackbird,” she taught herself acoustic guitar by imitating Paul McCartney's finger-picking technique.   

But it was the voices that made the biggest impression, with singers ranging from Tracy Chapman, Eva Cassidy, Diana Krall and Norah Jones along with French icons such as Carla Bruni, Francoise Hardy, Edith Piaf, Francis Cabrel, and Alain Souchon leaving their mark on her musical development. Just 23 years old, Francesca Blanchard has been called “a profound, mature talent” who “displays guile and artistic sensitivity that would be the envy of many tunesmiths twice her age. She may be young, but she has an old soul.” (Seven Days).

Tickets are available through UD Box Office in Kennedy Union (937-229-2545): $16 general admission; $12 seniors, and UD affiliates; $8 for student/youth.

Sears Recital Hall is located on the first floor of the Jesse Philips Humanities Center. Free parking is available at all times on campus; visitors arriving before 7:30 must stop at a visitor kiosk to request a free parking pass. Lot C is recommended for Sears Recital Hall events; access is via Evanston Avenue, off of Irving Avenue at the south edge of Oakwood.

ArtsLIVE: Serving University of Dayton's
 campus and community with adventurous, 
worldly programming since 1961.

CONTACT: Eileen Carr

Photo by Sarah Kjelleren. 

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