An Introduction to Breton Music | An Interview with Jean-Michel Veillon

Posted on
19 Oct 2013
by shannon kennedy under Episodes |


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This past week I had the opportunity to speak with one of my musical heroes about a style of music very near and dear to my heart. Although I write primarily about jazz, the field of music in which I have the most experience, I actually have a few other genres of music that I "specialize" in.

When a student studies musicology in school, they generally pick very specific genres or periods of music to study. Because I have a Master's degree in Music, I've had the opportunity to pick a few different but very specialized aspects of music to study one of which is Breton Music.

Breton Music is a style of Celtic music centralized in Brittany, France (the North West tip of the country). Its features include a unique instrumentation, dance, and strong sense of Breton nationalism. Most of those who love the style as I do have a deep understanding of not only the music but the language, the culture, the history, the geography and the politics surrounding it.

Flutist (or flautist, whichever you prefer) Jean-Michel Veillon is and has been an important figure in the genre for decades and I was honored with the opportunity to speak with him about Breton music, its history and l'art de la variation (which you'll hear about in the podcast).

I hope you enjoy this interview with an amazingly talented musician.









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