Jacques Brel: La Valsa a Mille Temps

Written by Clarice Assad

Composer / Performer

In category: Song of the Day

Published February 5, 2019

I went to France several times as a kid and ended up living there at the age of 15, having been introduced to the wonderful music of Jacques Brel. Though not a Parisian himself (Brel was born in Belgium), he contributed much to our idea of what is a “French” sound today. Brel wrote many songs in his short life, and this is one of my favorites, both for its poetry and for his complete mastery over the language.  It is unreal what he does closer to the end of the song as it gets faster and faster …

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A bold composer, a brilliant pianist, and an inventive vocalist all rolled into one, Clarice Assad floats freely across musical idioms, drawing on an array of sounds from Amazon forest wildlife to operatic arias. A classically-trained pianist, Assad is deeply rooted in the earthy, folkloric rhythms of Brazil, capturing the attention of international audiences with her stunning talent. The term “world music” is redundant when applied to her style, a reflection of Brazil’s musical melting pot heritage of African rhythms mixed with European melodies and harmonies.

Assad’s songs will be featured in Hyphenated-Americans on February 20 at Merkin Hall in NYC.


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