Treize Lunes       Thirteen Moons    

"Thirteen Moons" is an original musical collaboration featuring New Orleans musician GrayHawk Perkins and Mezcal Jazz Unit, a French Jazz quartet.

GrayHawk Perkins is a Native American of the Choctaw and Houma tribes. At the heart of this collaboration is a unique collection of chants in the Mobilian trade language. The compositions by GrayHawk, based on traditional songs refer to the thirteen moons of the Native American calendar. Emmanuel de Gouvello, bass player and composer added his own musical universe to the compositions which he arranged using harmonies and rhythms from the world of jazz. To choose to put these songs at the center of the collaboration between musicians of different cultures and musical backgrounds in a language historically used to break down barriers and foster understanding is a deliberate move to restore and honor the language and the people that used it. The music resulting from this unique collaboration takes the audience by surprise; incorporating the Native American chants into the diverse musical realms of the artists.

The Mobilian trade language was used as a lingua franca among Native American groups living along the Gulf of Mexico around the time of the European settlement of the region. Mobilian facilitated trade between tribes speaking different languages as well as with European settlers.

Thirteen Moons includes an educational project for students from primary through secondary levels as well as University lectures and round table discussions, in France and in the United States.


Grayhawk Perkins
Chris Azema
Jean-Marie Frédéric
Emmanuel de Gouvello
Vivian Pérès

Grayhawk Perkins
Arrangements, orchestration:
Emmanuel de Gouvello

Photos, coordination:
Elizabeth Riley