7 July 2014

- taken from an online article

Wells-based accordionist Karen Street has been performing her official duties as accordionist for the Tour de France, which kicked off in Yorkshire on Saturday (5 July).

Welcome to Yorkshire, who are hosting the Yorkshire leg of the Tour de France, asked Karen to perform the role in homage to French accordionist Yvette Horner, who led the Tour de France caravan 11 times, from 1952 to 1963.

Karen’s weekend duties involved playing in the caravan leading the 2014 Tour de France, travelling in a 1930s Citroen car emblazoned with Horner’s name. She led from Leeds to Harrogate on Saturday and York to Sheffield on Sunday. She will also perform at the race finish at the Champs Elysee on 27 July.

“I had known about Yvette Horner for some time and when got the call to take part in the Tour de France I was very excited. She was an incredibly virtuosic player of the French mussette style and quite a flamboyant character. Being part of the Tour de France would have been amazing enough, but to be leading the caravan on theTour de France on British soil makes it even more special and as an accordionist following in the footsteps of the legendary Yvette Horner is a real honour.

“I have performed in some amazing locations with some wonderful musicians, but this experience has been something else entirely and the crowds have been amazing,” said Karen.

Yvette Horner, who won the world cup of the accordion in 1948, became a national figure in France as a result of her appearances on the Tour de France playing her accordion while strapped to the top of a car in the publicity caravan ahead of the race.