Agnès JaouiView in iTunes
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Sometimes called "the Woody Allen" of France, Agnes Jaoui is best known for her acting (in Un Air de Famille, Le Rôle de Sa Vie) as well as for her writing and directing (her debut as a director, The Taste of Others, or Le Goût des Autres, was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2000). She grew up in Paris wanting to be an actress, attending a prestigious theater school, where she met Jean-Pierre Bacri, with whom she would go on to work with extensively, in 1987. However, Jaoui, the daughter of Jewish Tunisian emigrants, had also always been interested in music, studying voice as a teenager, and even singing in some of her films. Besides her love of baroque song, she was also interested in Latin music, and in 2005 she performed in a few venues around France with friends of hers from Cuba, Bolivia, and Argentina. This led to the development of a full-length album, Canta, a collection of songs sung in Spanish and Portuguese, which came out in 2006. Three years later, amidst various filming projects, Jaoui found time to record and release another album, Dans Mon Pays. In 2014, she collaborated with soprano Natalie Dessay, actress/singer Helena Noguerra, and guitarist Liat Cohen on the album Rio Paris. ~ Marisa Brown