Bonjour Tristesse

Bonjour Tristesse

Tatiana Eva-Marie and Michael Valeanu, April 2020

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The Story

Michael and Tatiana are old friends. They didn’t know each other when they both lived in Paris, but met in New York City when they were both rather fresh off the boat. A very crude sense of humor, a penchant for ballads and a shared love for French poetry soon turned them into the closest of comrades. They played, and drank, and partied all over the Great Big City, they saw lovers come and go, respective albums get created and released, they bumped into each other randomly at festivals, clubs and airports, and yet… they never recorded together.

In December 2019, between Christmas and New Year, Tatiana had a booked recording date at Big Orange Sheep Studios in Brooklyn, left over from a previous session. It was the perfect occasion to call Michael up and record some tunes.

They briefly got together over milk and cookies and determined the repertoire – ballads of course, and the result is this: a musical ode to melancholy through very intimate interpretations of French chanson and Great American Songbook classics, somewhere between “Julie is her name” and a Gypsy romance Juliette Gréco would sing in a Parisian caveau at closing time.

Bonjour Tristesse was recorded in one long, spontaneous day, under the expert watch of engineer Mike Perez-Cisneros, who is the silent third musician in this duet and created the ethereal and melancholy sound that ties Michael’s guitar and Tatiana’s vocals together.

Through the music of Hoagy Carmichael, Cole Porter, Jacques Brel, Cy Coleman and Lerner & Loewe, Michael and Tatiana bare their hearts and bring music and poetry together in a hushed and confidential way.


Tatiana Eva-Marie is a Brooklyn-based singer, actress and bandleader, best known for her work as frontman of the Avalon Jazz Band. She was recently named “rising jazz star” by Vanity Fair, “one of the best young singers around” by the Wall Street Journal, and acclaimed by the New York Times, Downbeat and other renowned publications. Growing up in a family of mutlicultural and bohemian musicians, Tatiana became inspired by her French and Romanian heritage, and now explores her love for jazz through the lens of 1930s Paris and the origins of Gypsy Jazz. She performs regularly in New York and on tour around the world. Tatiana Eva-Marie is starring in her first feature film “Swing Rendez-Vous” by French director Gérome Barry, coming out later this year.

Michael Valeanu is a New York based guitarist and composer from Paris, where he studied at the Nadia & Lili Boulanger Conservatory. In 2008, he moved to New York City and attended the New School For Jazz and Contemporary Music. In 2010 he was selected to participate in the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program for a two weeks residency at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. In 2015 he was designated second runner-up in the Wes Montgomery International Jazz Guitar Competition. Since then, Michael has played in clubs and festivals all over the United States, as well as in Europe and in Japan. His playing reaches beyond the boundaries of jazz into flavors of North and West African music, Brazilian music and classical guitar, lending his music a very personal and eclectic quality.