French 75 is a continental sextet that performs popular standards from the World Wars and beyond. Songs that got their start abroad, some that came from America and were big “over there”, and selections originating south of the border. The group is named for the cocktail, made of gin and champagne, and invented in France in WWI, back when a French 75 referred to a 75mm cannon. Led by clarinetist Tony Balluff, who has also provided new arrangements for these classic songs. Singing in English and occasional French, Maud Hixson also tells the stories behind the intercontinental enthusiasm for the Great American Songbook and its foreign-born contributions. Performing for events from the Vita.mn Pool Party to the Minnesota Orchestra’s Symphony Ball, they also perform in concert, with their shows “Beyond The Sea: Jazz From The Continent”, and “Café Society: From Piaf To Coward”.
Tony Balluff, clarinet (Southside Aces)
Maud Hixson, vocals
Gus Sandberg, saxophone (Jack Brass Band)
Robert Bell, guitar (Café Accordion Orchestra)
Steve Pikal, bass (Barbary Coast)
Nathan Norman, drums (Illicit Sextet)