The World’s Only Global Musical Instrument Museum ®

PHOENIX: June 24, 2014 Download this press release >

Find Your Joie de Vivre with Music and Culture at Experience France on July 12 and 13

Gypsy Jazz, a Strolling Accordionist, French Cuisine and More at MIM

PHOENIX (June 24, 2014) Start the Bastille Day celebrations early at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix with “Experience France,” MIM’s third annual celebration of French music and culture, July 12 and 13.

“Experience France” is one of a series of cultural celebrations in MIM’s “Unity Through Diversity” partnership with Phoenix-based PetSmart®. The initiative brings the largest specialty pet retailer and the world’s only global musical instrument museum together to highlight musical traditions that celebrate cultural diversity while reinforcing music as a unifying element of humanity around the world. This event is also supported by Alliance Française of Greater Phoenix and the International School of Arizona.

Live performances, both familiar and new, will occur on both days. Phoenix-based singer-songwriter Cecile Hortensia returns to perform her unique and poetic songs, drawing on her French and American heritage to channel timeless themes. ZAZU brings back its infectious take on gypsy jazz, drawing influence from the jazz craze that swept Paris in the early 1900s.

Guests will also encounter strolling accordionist Tony Putrino, playing in his trademark high-energy style and delivering a taste of French accordion throughout the galleries. Dr. James Gerber, music associate for All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Phoenix, will perform traditional French organ music from the 16th to the early 20th century on MIM’s Rathke “visible” organ.

“This year, we wanted to bring back some of the performances people have come to know and love, but also offer new activities,” said Celina Chiarello, public programs manager at MIM. “This program has evolved to meet a community desire to celebrate and explore French culture.”

As part of these new activities, Arizona artist Elliott Everson will be on hand to guide guests in sketching French musical instruments en plein air, or “in the open air.” Guests will also learn about French guitar music and Parisian instrument making from Arizona State University Master of Music student Joshua Pierce, who will play selections on MIM’s 19th-century Coviaux-Lippi guitar.

MIM’s saxophone ensemble, meanwhile, will lead a celebration of this year’s 200th birthday of Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the saxophone. Face painting and MIM’s custom photo booth, complete with costumes and props, will return and add to the family fun.

The award-winning Café Allegro will prepare a unique menu of French cuisine available for purchase, including chilled melon soup, bouillabaisse, beef bourguignon and crepes, along with French wines. The Museum Store will feature CDs, books and souvenirs related to the music of France, including a Limoges jazz trumpet box.

“Experience France” performances and activities are included with paid museum admission. Admission is free for Circle of Friends donors.

General Admission: $18
Teens (ages 13‒19): $14
Children (ages 4‒12): $10
Children 3 and under: Free

“Experience France” Museum Hours
Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The Musical Instrument Museum is located at 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard in Phoenix (corner of Tatum and Mayo Boulevards, just south of Loop 101). For general museum information and a full schedule of events, visit or call 480.478.6000.


About MIM
The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) enriches the world by collecting, preserving and making accessible a wide variety of musical instruments and performance videos from every country in the world. We offer our guests a welcoming and fun experience, incomparable interactive technology, dynamic programming and exceptional musical performances. MIM also fosters appreciation of diverse cultures around the globe by showing that we all innovate, adapt and learn from each other to create music—the language of the soul.

Find MIM on Facebook:
Follow MIM on Twitter: @MIMphx
Subscribe to MIM on YouTube:

Media Contact
Erin Miller, Media Relations Manager, MIM