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Geneva Famous Live Music

Interview with Pit Gravier and The Soul Foundation

January 20th, at the Village du Soir. A band is announced for the Big Live: Pit Gravier Tribute Motow. It's the first concert at the Village for this formation of 5-6 musicians and singers, a first major test with the Village audience. Gradually, the room fills up. Guitar, bass, brass, and keyboard kick things off, closely followed by the vocals, in a Soul Music register perfectly mastered by the group. And then, the magic happens

Meeting with Jean-François Buffet, founder of Pit Gravier and the Soul Foundation.

Before talking about your first time at the Village du Soir, tell us the story of Pit Gravier and the Soul Foundation.

I founded the band in 1990 (that's 34 years on stage to date!), with a guitarist, a keyboardist, myself on vocals, and a bass. A year later, we welcomed the brass section. We then performed a lot of shows, without confining ourselves to any particular style.

Then, in 2000, the turning point came. Since my teenage years, I've been heavily influenced by African American music, Soul Music, with its icons like Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, Curtis Mayfield, Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye... and so many others! I decided to focus the band on this repertoire... and it worked! We played at Montreux Jazz, in Turin, in Paris, at the Fêtes de Genève, and on dozens of other stages.

Very different stages, including the Village du Soir in January! How did you get there?

Simply by sending a request to play there. The place is a must-visit in Geneva and known for its atmosphere, so we were very eager to present our music, our band to the audience. In early January, after a discussion with the programming person and them watching one of our concerts, bam, our request was accepted! We were scheduled for the following weekend, which is just crazy.

And then, this encounter with the Village audience?

Magical. Not only was the audience receptive, but what was great was seeing the atmosphere rise with each song, and this was true for both the older and younger attendees who often know less about Soul Music. But once they're exposed to it, they're hooked!

What's great here is the decor created in each room, which adds even more atmosphere to the concert. We had an insane stage design in the room, and I'm convinced that it helped make the moment even more powerful with the audience.

This connection with the Village, the beginning of a long story?

I hope so! We came back to play in February, just a month after the first date, which is unprecedented in the Village's programming. It shows that, from the audience's side as well as ours, the chemistry is there! Anyway, I tell everyone, "you have to go to the Village," because all the ingredients are there for a great time: an insane atmosphere, an audience that shows up, incredible decors that contribute to creating an indescribable vibe, and a reception from the staff that's just awesome. No, really, I see no reason not to go!


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