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Musician Gets Some Princely Publicity

Jazz harmonicist Frédéric Yonnet (Carla Sims)

As Dave Chappelle's publicist, Carla Sims has one of the more interesting jobs in D.C. -- the lady we're always calling to ask, "Someone saw Dave smoking a cigarette outside the White House?" or "Was Dave skateboarding on K Street?" (The answer, generally: Yes.)

Her household is getting even more interesting: Husband Frédéric Yonnet, a jazz harmonica player, will tour with Prince. That's how we got into a spellbinding post-Oscar party here in Hollywood -- Prince jamming for hours with a red-hot band, shouting "Come on, Yonnet!" as the 36-year-old Frenchman wailed on harp. (See related story.)

Sims told us Prince first heard Yonnet dueting with Stevie Wonder at a 2007 Madison Square Garden concert; last summer, the couple attended a party at Prince's home, and the star remembered him. "You have to come jam with us," he said.

And how is playing with His Highness? "To make it work, I have to keep my eye on him," Yonnet told us. "His cues are very subtle. But then you start to hear what he hears. It's very spontaneous. That's how he likes it, that's how it is."

By The Reliable Source  |  February 24, 2009; 1:03 AM ET
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