Joanne Griffith presents her first CD

Illustration by Stéphan Daigle

YôYê

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.

“A beautiful discovery. Over Afro-Brazilian coloured music, Joanne Griffith sings of love, childhood and the art of living together.” Marie-Christine Trottier, Émission Désautels, Première chaîne, Radio-Canada. (translation)

“Born in Montreal to West-Indian parents, singer Joanne Griffith was a member of the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir for ten years. Her first CD, YôYê, underscores the brotherhood between the West Indies, Africa and Brazil and shows how inspiring Montreal's cultural métissages can be. (...) Several texts comment on our children's future and could reach a wide audience. Griffith's voice offers the negro spiritual's colour and the natural ease of singers from the 70s (...). Arranger and musical director Jean-Francois Garneau chose to work with some of Montreal's best known musicians who, through the use of a variety of instruments, bring a rich texture to each and every song.” Denys Lelièvre, Voir, Montréal, Qc, Canada. (translation)

“...Joanne Griffith brings a multicultural perspective to her music. Incorporating African-American, Caribbean, and African styles - and French and English lyrics - she moves seamlessly through melodic tunes that highlight her soft, clear voice. On the gentler side of the world music continuum, Joanne Griffith's music will have particular appeal for fans of Izaline Calister, Maria de Barros, Lhasa, and the like.” Scott Allan Stevens, Earball Media, WA, USA

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