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Villeneuve-le-Comte is in love with the ukulele, “an instrument that represents the music of the sun”

The only thing missing is Julien Doré, a big fan of the ukulele. “But we obviously don’t have a budget,” laughs Villeneuve-le-Comte (Seine-et-Marne) Mayor Daniel Chevalier, who, with the president of the town’s music association of 2,000 inhabitants, take on the organization of the festival dedicated to this little Hawaiian guitar. Every two years, for three days, a little over 500 people come to learn, listen to concerts and enjoy an island atmosphere at least atypical.

“We were looking to play a small instrument, because we were tired of carrying a lot of equipment in the car,” explains François Godard, music teacher, founder of the music association, after the festival in 2014 with her husband Jean-Pierre. He adds: “It is an instrument with a strong capital of sympathy. It represents the music of the sun. And you can play both classic and hard rock with it. “And so, with a small instrument, a small festival,” jokes the couple, who went to live on their retirement on the Côte d’Azur.

The mayor invested in the adventure

With a budget of 15,000 euros, Villeneuve-le-Comte has thus entered the small club of municipalities that promote the ukulele. “We are beginning to be known in France,” said the mayor, the guitarist and himself enrolled in the town’s new orchestra.

“One evening they called me, making me believe in an emergency, and in fact they handed me a low ukulele so that I could be part of the orchestra of the Ukulele band of Villeneuve-le-Comte,” he says. easy, they are the same chords as the guitar.With other neighbors, he goes to other festivals of the same genre and thus discovers artists for the next editions.

Ukeleles for local children

The municipality has also bought a string of ukuleles for CM1 and CM2 students, who will perform this Sunday morning. “Parents are delighted that their child is playing an instrument,” said Giselle Frugier, the new president of the music association.

The small neighboring town of Disney, living with its four restaurants, two bars and multiple shops, acquires an extra dimension, playing with the touch of originality. “It makes the town even more attractive,” confirms Daniel Chevalier. We make the restaurants live and give joy to the inhabitants. »

Ukulele Festival, until Sunday, May 15, in Villeneuve-le-Comte. Program on: https://festiukulele77.fr/

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