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Vive le French funk!

When Minneapolis natives Emily and Chuck Boigenzahn lived in Paris for six years in the latter half of the ‘90s, the couple became well-acquainted with the culture. They opened a café, Le Bouquin Affame, outside of Paris, and regularly hosted poetry, music, and theater events. Now the connection comes full circle as the Boigenzahns act as local ambassadors to Tarace Boulba, a 25-piece funk band based in Paris that will perform at the Triple Rock Social Club Saturday (10 p.m.) in Minneapolis and at the Black Dog Café Block Party Saturday in St. Paul (1 p.m.)

"They’re amazing," said Emily Thursday afternoon, as she and Chuck geared up for 25-plus house guests to descend by bus on their family’s Bryn Mawr doorstep. "Our house is pretty big, and we’ve been working on finishing the basement, and we’ve got tents set up in the backyard. It’s a dream come true for me, because I always love having people in my house, I love being surrounded by music, and I love cooking. The idea of turning my backyard into this sort of caravan of people and music makes me really happy."

The director of development systems at the Guthrie Theater, Emily helped book the band into the Triple Rock, and plays guitar in RuDeGiRL, the popular Minneapolis-based all-female Clash tribute band that opens the show Saturday night. In a promotional email she wrote:

"[Tarace Boulba] was founded in the early ‘90s by two members of the legendary French band Les Negresses Vertes. Their goal was to create a musical entity that would celebrate music on many levels -- everyone was welcome to play with Tarace Boulba -- they jammed with those who loved to play; they taught those who wanted to learn to play; they played on the street for the enjoyment of all; they started a non-profit organization which now has more than 800 members [and] all could conceivably be considered members of Tarace Boulba. In addition to the core group, they chose the best, most dedicated players to tour America for this special project.

"They are on an American tour this spring, starting in New Orleans at the Jazz Festival, and are making their way up the Mississippi River to Minneapolis, their goal being to follow the roots of black American music and share experiences in cultural immersion along the way. If Parliament took the form of a marching band, this would be Tarace Boulba!"

Tarace Boulba with RuDeGiRL and SayLovey. 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, May 9. Triple Rock Social Club, 629 Cedar Avenue (on the West Bank in Minneapolis). $8 in advance ($10 at the door).

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