Joanne Griffith sang more than 10 years with the famous Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir and started her solo career in 1999, developping a world fusion approach based on the use of acoustic instruments and on themes that matter everywhere on the planet. She is currently preparing a second CD and giving shows in the Montreal area.
Jean-François Garneau has produced YôYé, Joanne Griffith's first CD. As a composer and songwriter, he writes lyrics and music, or translates lyrics from French, Spanish and Portuguese. He recently adapted in Portuguese Broadjam member Regina Smoler's bossa, Once Upon an April Snow, and arranged it with Brazilian singer-composer Paulo Ramos: Jean-François sings, plays guitar and bass, and started using Protools in 1997 while completing a Masters degree in multimedia communication.

Joanne Griffith/J.-F. Garneau

Joanne Griffith presents her 1st album: YÔYÊ

Singer Joanne Griffith probes essential themes of love, childhood, and the art of living together in her début album, YôYê. Over Afro-Latin rhythms cross-pollinated with a Montreal blend of métissages, the songs explore various facets of the human family, here and there in the world. A generous offering in French with a rich mix of English and Portuguese, the songs were written for Joanne Griffith by Québec-based songwriters Paulo Ramos, Philippe Laloux, Vovo, Jean-François Garneau, and author Delphine Bailly. The album also unveils one of Joanne's own compositions.

Born in Montreal to West Indian parents, Joanne Griffith grew up in a vibrant multicultural environment, speaking English at home and French at school. She discovered a passion for the stage, whether expressed in dance, theatre or singing. As a member of the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir for more than 10 years, Joanne performed in more than 100 shows, including one for Nelson Mandela when he visited Montreal in 1989, and in 5 recordings, in North America and Europe.

In 1999, Joanne Griffith launched her career as a soloist with a concert entitled Prima at Club Soda, in Montreal. The following year, Brazilian singer-songwriter Bïa invited Joanne to open at the Lion d'Or in Montreal, where she performed the first half of an uplifting evening. Since then, Joanne has been singing regularly, developing and expanding her repertory with the help of her musical director, Jean-François Garneau, and her musicians, Fabrice Laurent, Christophe Papadimitriou and Richard Lalonde. Joining them on this début album are Paulo Ramos, Vovo, Karl Surprenant, Nathalie Cora, Jean-Pierre Zanella, Vincent Beaulne, Lilison Cordeiro M. and Kristin Molnar, offering listeners a cd that is highly touching and original.

The cd opens with a classic, Feeling Good, first warmly sung a cappella, then backed by a delicate jazzy conversation between cora, guitar and soprano saxophone. The title song follows, accompanied by the fluid guitar of its composer, Paulo Ramos. YôYê is a tribute to loving families everywhere. The third song, Filosofia pura, sends out a wonderful message of happiness, thanks to sunny percussion from Brazil and West-African cora. Enfant d'Afrique begins with a lonely kalimba soon replaced by a military drum, a thought for the children forced to become soldiers. Another riveting look at childhood is offered in L'enfant est le père de l'homme and in Mina. One takes us on a train ride along the highlands of India, the other moves our feet to an ironic beguine. Anahua, meaning she-who-sees-far in Igbo, shares the longing of an exiled woman for her African grandmother. In Talaté, a bass clarinet follows the footsteps of Peul shepherds on the savannah. Iko Iko is a New Orleans carnival anthem with added Brazilian spice. In Ser criança, Vovo joins Joanne in a smile dedicated to children. Joanne's own Right To Happiness defends a child's need for love and respect, which is simply expressed in the final song, Brown Girl in the Ring.


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