Fiona Monbet
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Fiona Monbet (b.1989) is a stupendous violinist in her own right with an astonishingly quick mind and the finger-speed to match it, allied to flawless tuning. She has absorbed [Didier Lockwood’s] specific heritage, all that freedom, delay and devil-may-care. She also has both his wonderful knack of being able to surprise the listener and all his assuredness when it comes to leading a band in ratcheting up the intensity. And there is a lot more to her besides. Monbet’s mother is Irish and that heritage comes through vividly too, plus there is an evident understanding of and empathy for the Balkan heritage.

Monbet’s second album Contrebande […] is a constant delight. It has been permanently on my car CD player since mid-October and I still find it more-ish. She throws out energetic challenges to her team of Pierre Cussac on accordion, Antoine Boyer on guitar and bassist Damien Varaillon, but they also have the capacity to match her when what is required is lightness, lyricism or airiness. I heard her perform a showcase gig in Paris in October with two out of these three swapped for other players; the solid authority of her bandleading skills made those musicians into a band every bit as unified as the cohort on the record.

This album is more than a calling card. It announces the start of a big international career that will be fascinating to watch as it develops.

Sebastian Scotney,, 20 Décembre 2018

Astoria 16, Radio France, 18 décembre 2019