"...a true chanteuse whose flying feet will heat up the hall while her voice melts your heart."
- The Valley Advocate, Amherst, MA (May 97)
1999 National Culture Through the Arts Award from NY State Association of Foreign Language Teachers for her work in schools
Since 1980 Josée Vachon has been making a name for herself in the Franco-American communities of the Northeast. A native of Québec, transplanted as a child to central Maine, she sings traditional and original songs in French with a warm humor and upbeat, engaging rhythm. She has recorded nine solo albums in French, marketed primarily to the French communities of the Northeast, plus two CDs with Franco-American folkgroup, Chanterelle. Raising her own children tri-lingually (French, Spanish & English), she brings us her favorite children's songs from her own childhood, choosing from well-known sing-alongs and lullabies and contrasted with humorous pop songs and caribbean rhythms that engage the entire family.
Produced by Pete Sutherland and surrounded by a dynamic and multi-talented group of musicians (including Donna Hébert, Jeremiah McLane, Keith Murphy, David Surette, Peter Davis and many others), this CD chooses not to "teach" French but to immerse the family in the fun-lovingmelodies, sounds and rhythms of her culture, despite the fact that many children have been known to "accidently" sing-along after a few listens!
Josée Vachon's first performances at the University of Maine and at Franco-American festivals in New England led her to compose original songs about her Québec roots, as well as blending popular and traditional songs from Canada. Josée's warm vocals and personality as well as her increasing popularity led to a new career in 1987 as host, for 11 years, of NH Association Canado-Américaine's "Bonjour!", the most widely seen French language cable TV show produced in the U.S., airing throughout New England, New Brunswick, Ontario and Louisiana. Her international TV appearances include "Le grand échiquier" and "Espace francophone" in Paris in 1989, as well as TV Ontario and Radio-Canada in Moncton and Montreal in 1987. Awards include the 1999 National Culture Through the Arts Award from NY State Association of Foreign Language Teachers for her work in schools, the key to the city of Woonsocket, R.I. and American Traditions Training and Touring Project. She was recorded for a special on La Bolduc on Canada's History Channel, has a regional music clip on MicroSoft's AutoMap Trip Planner software and has an original song on Smithsonian Folkways's CD "Mademoiselle voulez-vous danser: Franco-American Music from the New England Borderlands". She was a member of the Women's Singing Traditions of New England Tour of 1994, and is a founding member of the Franco-American group, Chanterelle (www.dhebert.com).