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“Summer of ‘42” by Chilly Gonzales



MARCH 25 (TORONTO, ON) - In 2022, Michel Legrand would have turned 90 (February 25). Composer, conductor, pianist, singer, stage director: Michel broke down the barriers between jazz, symphonic music, musical comedy and popular music. A musical legend, three times Oscar winner, Legrand left a prolific body of work, with themes that have taken hold in the collective memory for several decades. "Legrand (re)imagined" is an elegant and contemporary tribute to the late prolific composer Michel Legrand by the world's finest composers and pianists. The first single "Summer of '42" by the prolific Chilly Gonzales (300M streams worldwide) will be released on March 25, just days before the 2022 Academy Awards ceremony, which marks the 50th anniversary of Michel Legrand's Oscar for best original score. This will be followed by a single every three weeks until the album's release on 28 October 2022.


Michel Legrand is one of the most acclaimed film composers of his generation. He also was a sophisticated jazz pianist and songwriter whose lyrical sound evoked the romance, the style and the coolness of Paris. A classical piano prodigy, Legrand emerged in the 1950s with a series of successful ambient albums. In 1954, his first album, "I Love Paris," consisting of French songs arranged in jazz, was a huge success. It was the starting point of a resounding international career in jazz. He then worked with famous musicians such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, or Bill Evans. Some of his compositions became jazz standards: "La Valse des lilas" (Once upon a summer time), "La Chanson de Maxence" (You must believe in spring).


During the 1960s, Michel Legrand began a second career, this time in the film industry. He had the opportunity to compose music for Agnès Varda, Cléo from 5 to 7 (1962), and Jean-Luc Godard, A Women Is a Woman (1961), My Life to Live (1962), and Band of Outsiders (1964). But it is his collaboration with the director Jacques Demy that will impact the most French cinema. After Lola (1961), The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), whose music was nominated for an Oscar, The Young girls of Rochefort (1967), and Donkey Skin (1970), marked the birth of a genre, the French musical. In 1966, Michel Legrand moved to Los Angeles in hope to make it in Hollywood. He then won the Best Original Song at the Oscars and a Golden Globes for the song "The Windmills of your mind" from the film "The Thomas Crown Affair" by Norman Jewison (1968), another Academy Award for Best Film Score for the soundtrack of the film "A Summer of 42" by Robert Mulligan (1971), and finally, a last Academy Award for Best Musical Adaptation for the film Yentl by Barbra Streisand (1983).


Chilly Gonzales is as well known for his intimate approach to the piano through his trilogy of Solo Piano albums as he is for his showmanship and his compositions for internationally acclaimed artists. Dressed in a bathrobe and slippers, he fills philharmonic halls around the world; in the space of an evening, he can give a sublime solo piano recital, dissect the musicology of a Billie Eilish hit, and showcase his lyrical dexterity as a rapper. He performs and writes songs with Jarvis Cocker, Feist, and Drake, and won a Grammy for his collaboration on Daft Punk's Best Album of the Year.