Monday, May 25, 2009

Festival de l'anche

10 years ago when organizers announced that a music festival celebrating the use of reed cane, known locally as "canne de Provence" would be held in the small Mediteranean town of Hyeres, everyone said it couldn't be done. However the Festival de l'anche (Cane Festival) did happen and has grown considerably from its humble beginnings to a lively and exciting event.

This year will mark the 10th anniversary of the Festival de l'anche and Rico is proud to once again be a sponsor of the events. The 3-day festival takes place May 29th through May 31st in Hyeres, France (about 140km west of Nice).

Concerts are held at several concert venues including the Casino de Hyeres, the Théâtre Denis, the Olbia Archeological Site, and Rico's own Roso France plantation. Featured guest artists include top name acts like The Benny Golson Quartet, Manu Dibango, and many other exciting concerts. The final concert on Sunday evening is held outdoors in Rico's cane fields and is a beautiful setting to hear one jazz music's greats - Benny Golson.

An exhibt of woodwind and reed companies is complemented by workshops and other displays of crafts and products that make use of cane. These include calligraphy, paper making, and even the manufacture of the calameau, a wind instrument made from cane!

A highlight of the festival is the weekend tours of Roso France, Rico's cane plantations. These tours are guided by Mr. Jean Francois Rico who helped build Rico's plantations starting in the mid 1970s. Tours take place Saturday and Sunday morning and a free shuttle leaves from the Casino to Roso France.

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