by Alain Houzé, Founder/Producer
I first imagined the concept of Voila Tour one night in November 2015.
Some say I should have slept instead, but I had the time and a new life to invent. At 53, I still had a lot to accomplish.
This is what happened in my mind this night. It is the story of Voila Tour:
I first thought about my passions: music, arts, food and wine. Then, I thought about where I like to live: France and the United States. I speak French and English (well, sort of!), and my skills include the ability to stay organized, discover people’s talents and bring them together. In short, I’m a doer and a dreamer.
So, after some pondering, I decided to make a French tour and launched it in Arizona, a state I love, and in Prescott, a historic town with many nice venues. My good friend Marnie Uhl, who I met in 1980 in L.A., helped me with my first presentation of the project in March 2016.
Then, I had another dream – I would bring it to Sedona, the jewel of our state in red rock country. The area also offered beautiful galleries and an abundance of venues.
But the question remained – how exactly do we bring some French culture to Arizona?
I started in France. In June 2015, I went on a casting tour through Bordeaux, Paris, Normandy, Northern France and my hometown of Provence. No one knew me. I came out of nowhere. I scoured the internet, Facebook and television for artists.
They noticed my determination, my passion and my commitment. I saw some sparkles in their eyes. That’s how the Voila Tour 2017 team was built. Renowned and gifted musicians, arts, chef, crew and more joined our team.
My wife Martine Houzé and I decided to put all of our savings into the venture and took out a couple of loans to produce the tour.
Three preparation trips to Arizona in 2016 and dozens of meetings later, I had the support of fantastic sponsors and partners like Margo Christensen (Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for Ponderosa Hotel Management Services), Nackard Pepsi, Sedona Rouge, chambers of commerce and many more.
In spring 2017, we launched our first edition in Arizona and it was a success! Voila Tour 2018 promises to be another amazing experience.
Voilagers Artists are back! Some are new, and all are highly talented and motivated. We invite the public to come out to our many different events and enjoy!
- CadiJo, world-renowned blues harmonica player
- Gaelle Buswel, worldwide blues-rock-Americana French star
- Belen “La Parisienne,” singer
- “French Badass” rock and blues performers Chris and Lo, rising stars singers Cheyenne and Frankeur, Slim “Sioux” Batteux
- Yves Cairoli, amazing painter artist from
- Tessa, a talented graphic artist
- An award-winning French chef and a wine maker (name to be announced in the future)
- …and our American guests, The CheekTones and more!
Voila Tour is about sharing our French and American cultures and demonstrating what we have in common while having a fun time enjoying new talents and shows.
Come out and sing and dance to Edith Piaf, Brigitte Bardot as well as rock-blues, Gypsy jazz, and original songs in French and English; re-discover Arizona through the eyes of a European painter; watch live arts; taste Provence Rosé wine and savor our chef’s Provençal traditional cuisine!
This summer you don’t need to fly to France. France is coming to you!
For more in-depth information on the concept of the Voila Tour, program, calendar, artists bios, partners and sponsors, visit voilatouraz.com.
Watch exclusive videos on Voila Tour’s YouTube Channel (2017 events, music videos and interviews), and get all news and updates along with links to events and tickets on Facebook group “Voila Tour.”