Breathe deeply now! Crossing the péripherique into Paris' infamous banlieue (suburbs) is not always synonymous with civil uprisings from France's down-and-out youths. In fact, as house prices rise and Parisians swap their stamp-sized inner-city apartments for larger spaces in zones at the end of the metro and on RER lines, the suburbs are beginning to get the cultural input they deserve – starting with this funky music festival. Held in parts of the Val-de-Marne suburbs (like Cachan, Choisy-le-Roi and Ivry-sur-Seine), as well as central Paris, 'Sons d'hiver' brings you a dizzying programme of music that loosely adheres to the 'black music' label, which in practice means everything from electro and hip-hop to jazz and world music. Past years have featured the likes of Amerindian jazz by Pura Fé, Bad Dog and John Trundell, William Parker and his Orchestra, Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay and Senegalese musician Mola Sylla. The lineup for this, the 23rd edition, is more eclectic than ever: among others, you'll have the chance to hear composer-trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith's Golden Quartet, the blues preacher James 'Blood' Ulmer and the Tunisian and Lebanese ouds players Dhafer Youssef and Rabih Abou-Khalil. See the full programme here. The capital tunes into the finest contemporary black music, from January 23 to February 16
January: hangovers, flabby waistlines and resolutions already broken. If you're feeling sluggish under the weight of a Christmas turkey that you still haven't quite digested, Festival MO'FO has the remedy: three days of rousing indie artists to get your feet moving and your blood racing. Split over two stages – pithily named 'MO' and 'FO' – the festival has built something of a reputation for showcasing the hottest artists in the genre. This year's programme is its most exciting yet: we're especially looking forward to the intimate folk songs of Jessica Pratt and the rockier strains of erstwhile comic book artist Jeffrey Lewis. Reason enough to drag yourself out of your new year's blues and over to Les Mains d'Œuvres de Saint-Ouen.
Festival MO'FO runs from Friday 24 to Sunday 26 January. For more information, including full listings, click here.