Gainsbourg’s muse to stop by Japan on her way to North America

by Eriko Arita

Staff Writer

Jane Birkin is a British-born singer and actress based in France, however one of her most famous roles was as the muse for French artist Serge Gainsbourg (1928-91). Birkin will be paying tribute to Gainsbourg in song next week when she comes to Tokyo for a concert.

The Japanese musicians who will accompany her for the performance, including pianist Nobuyuki Nakajima, are those who played with Birkin when she held a charity concert at Shibuya Club Quattro in Tokyo on April 6 for victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11.

Birkin says that she watched the disaster unfold on television in France.

“I have known these people for 40 years,” she said according to a statement. ” ‘Go there,’ I thought. … ‘What can I do? … the only thing I can do — a concert.’ “

Following that successful concert, Birkin decided to tour with the Japanese musicians that backed her in the United States and Canada. That tour begins in Seattle on Nov. 29, but Birkin will visit the Tokyo International Forum beforehand. In the spirit of charity, the venue will feature a fundraising booth for the nonprofit organization Children Without Borders. That group, which in Japan is known as Kokkyo Naki Kodomotachi, is working to provide mental health support to Japanese children who experienced the March 11 disasters.

Jane Birkin sings Serge Gainsbourg “Via Japan” takes place on Nov. 25 at Hall C of the Tokyo International Forum (doors open at 6:30 p.m.). Tickets cost ¥7,500 for a seat in the A section and ¥8,500 for a seat in the S section. For more information, visit www.t-i-forum.co.jp or www.janebirkin.net.