Soiree Chez Nous
Chanterelle brings the audience into the heart of New England's warm, lively French culture. Distinctively beautiful voices, virtuoso French fiddling and trio harmonies are hallmarks of Chanterelle performances, taking the listener on an unforgettable journey from Québec to Cajun Country. Invoking their culture in music, story and song, they make the audience part of the soirée. Laughter and music ring together as hands and feet keep time with the music, for it's time to have a good time, 'C'est le temps de s'amuser, amusons nous ensemble!' Well known in communities throughout the Northeast, Josée Vachon has been making a name for herself for over twenty-five years. A Québec native transplanted to central Maine as a child, Vachon's traditional and original songs in French are performed with guitar, spoons, clogging, energy and charm. She has performed hundreds of traditional, educational and holiday concerts for audiences of all ages. She hosted Bonjour!, the most widely-viewed French cable program produced in the U.S., airing in markets from New Brunswick, Ontario to Louisiana. She was awarded the 1999 National Culture Through the Arts in NY for her work in schools and has recorded 12 solo albums in French A veteran of thousands of contradances with recording industry awards for her fiddling, Donna Hébert is an important figure in the contradance renaissance, as well as a national leader in teaching fiddling. Donna's humorous stories, songs of Franco life, and unstoppable fiddling groove are all sure crowd-pleasers at Chanterelle concerts. At a recent concert, an elderly man leapt right out of his front-row seat and began energetically step-dancing, high praise indeed for a fiddler! Josée and Donna both have original songs included on the 1999 Smithsonian/Folkways anthology of Franco music, which was chosen by National Public Radio as one of it's Top Ten Folk CDs. Liza Constable's supple contralto voice has caught the attention of people from festival-goers to NPR 'All Things Considered' host Noah Adams. A consummate vocal stylist, Liza's phrasing goes to the heart of the lyric. Her Cajun two- steps, waltzes and bluesy laments turn Chanterelle's music south to Louisiana. A guitarist since age ten and fluent in many styles of accompaniment, Liza can drive dance tunes to the wall or elegantly underpin a jazz standard or a ballad with equal skill and grace. Her latest songs with Chanterelle are in French, taken from singers like Josephine Baker and Edith Piaf, where Liza's voice takes on their insouciance and loneliness while Donna's fiddling turns to sassy French jazz. Liza and Donna also perform with The Beaudoin Legacy with members of Vermont's Beaudoin family and friends, singing and playing fiddle with the 11-member group at venues in the Northeast. When schedules permit, Chanterelle is joined by Cajun accordionist and bassist Alan Bradbury. Alan is also a member of the Rhode Island Cajun band Magnolia.