Joanne Griffith | Yôyê

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CANADA - Québec

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World: World Fusion World: Afro-Brazilian Moods: Type: Vocal
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by Joanne Griffith

A soothing voice, warm & clear. Afro-Brazilian sounding songs, in English or French, feel-good movies for the ear. New covers of Feeling Good, as a 'world blues' with African cora, and of Iko Iko, a carnival groove bridging New Orleans and Rio.
Genre: World: World Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Feeling Good
4:24 $0.99
2. Yôyê (dans Ma Vie)
4:32 $0.99
3. Filosofia Pura (Éa Éo)
3:38 $0.99
4. Enfant D'afrique
3:44 $0.99
5. L'enfant Est Le Père De L'homme
4:51 $0.99
6. Mina
3:57 $0.99
7. Anahua
3:47 $0.99
8. Talaté
5:45 $0.99
9. Iko Iko
3:30 $0.99
10. Ser Criança (Être Un Enfant)
2:24 $0.99
11. Right to Happiness
1:54 $0.99
12. Brown Girl in the Ring
1:59 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Joanne Griffith
presents her 1st album: YÔYÊ

Velvet voice singer Joanne Griffith probes essential themes of love, childhood's dreams, 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.

French description:
Le disque YôYê s'ouvre avec un classique, Feeling Good, d'abord énoncé en un suave a cappella, puis soutenu par les traits jazzés des cora, harpe d'Afrique de l'ouest, guitare et saxophone soprano. La chanson-titre suit, agrémentée par la guitare agile de son compositeur, Paulo Ramos. C'est une sorte de berceuse, dédiée aux parents et aux grands-parents, dont la sonorité exprime les rêves de l'enfance. Filosofia pura, la troisième pièce, répand un idéal de bonheur en alliant au soleil des percussions brésiliennes celui de la cora. Enfant d'Afrique enchaîne avec un petit kalimba, vite entraîné par un tambour militaire, évoquant le sort des enfants-soldats. Ce regard sur l'enfance d'ailleurs continue dans L'enfant est le père de l'homme et dans Mina. Dans l'un, berimbau, violon et udu tissent la trame d'un voyage en train lumineux sur les hauts-plateaux de l'Inde. Dans l'autre, le cuatro et la clarinette font tanguer sur une béguine un récit triste et familier. Anahua, qui signifie « celle-qui-voit-loin » en igbo, raconte le souhait d'une femme en exil de retrouver sa grand-mère africaine. Dans Talaté, une clarinette basse souffle sur les traces d'un groupe de bergers, des Peuls, dans la chaleur d'une savane. Avec Iko Iko, la chaleur est celle d'un carnaval louisannais fantasque, où le gamok indien rejoint les tambours du Brésil. Dans Ser criança, Vovo appuie Joanne et offre à l'enfance un autre sourire brésilien. Joanne défend ensuite dans Right To Happiness le respect des enfants et de leur droit au bonheur, lequel est illustré simplement avec la ronde des Caraïbes finale, Brown Girl in the Ring.



to write a review

Denys Lelièvre, Voir, Montreal

YôYê underlines the brotherhood between the West Indies, Africa and Brazil.
Born in Montreal of Barbadian parents, singer Joanne Griffith was, for ten years, a member of the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir. Her first CD, YôYê, underlines the brotherhood between the West Indies, Africa and Brazil and shows how inspiring Montreal's cultural metissage 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 hired some of Montreal's best musicians who, through the use of a variety of instruments, bring a rich texture to each and every song.

Spin the Globe, world music news

Joanne Griffith brings a multicultural perspective to her music.
Born in Montreal to West Indian parents, 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.

Mathew Joseph

Sparkles like a mountain brook in the sunlight
Joanne Griffith's voice make me want to run out in the street and hug everyone I see!!! A beautifully produced and well recorded CD with a lovely selection of songs and some truly exquisite instrumentation by J.F. Garneau and his fellow musicians. Can't wait to hear more from these folks!