The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum continues the 34th season of its Wednesday Folk Traditions concert series with a performance from Josée Vachon et ses amis on June 24, 2015. The award-winning Franco-American singer/songwriter performs traditional and contemporary folksongs from Québec and Acadia with energy, charm and a bit of clogging. She is joined by acclaimed guitarist Max Cohen and award-winning fiddler Donna Hébert. This and all other Wednesday Folk Traditions performances are held Wednesday evenings at 6:30 pm in the Sunken Garden at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum, 130 River Drive, Route 47, Hadley, MA 01035. General admission is $12, or $2 for children 16 and under. Picnickers are welcome on the museum grounds beginning at 5:00 pm. The Museum and its grounds is a smoke free site.
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 has performed traditional and original songs in French for hundreds of traditional, educational, and holiday concerts. Vachon’s first performances at the University of Maine and at New England Franco-American festivals inspired her to document her Québec roots in original songs as well as in popular and traditional songs from Canada. Her warm vocals, welcoming personality and increasing popularity among Francos led to an 11-year run hosting Bonjour!, the most widely seen French language cable TV show produced in the U.S.
In 1999, Josée Vachon was awarded the National Culture Through the Arts Award from the NY State Association of Foreign Language Teachers for her work in schools. She was a member of the National Endowment for the Arts’ American Traditions Training and Touring Project. Vachon contributed an original song on Smithsonian Folkways’ CD, Mademoiselle voulez-vous danser: Franco-American Music from the New England Borderlands, a Top Ten Folk Music CD pick from NPR in 1999. She has recorded 12 solo albums in French, and two with Franco-American folk group Chanterelle.
Donna Hébert, a fellow member of Chanterelle who has performed with Josée Vachon since 1994, will be joining Vachon for her June 24 performance at Wednesday Folk Traditions. Recognized by former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick for “outstanding artistic achievement” for fiddling, Donna Hébert is a bona-fide cultural treasure. Named a state Artist’s Fellow in the Folk Arts, she has two original songs on Smithsonian anthologies and eight appointments as a master-teacher in Franco-American fiddling through the National Endowment’s Master-Apprenticeship program. Donna Hébert is a fiddling pioneer in New England contradance and Franco-American genres, a composer, arranger, an expert on fiddle styles, and a fiddle teacher at Smith and Amherst Colleges.
Also joining the June 24 Wednesday Folk Traditions performance will be Max Cohen, an accomplished guitarist who has performed with Chanterelle and with Donna Hébert in a fiddle-guitar duo. Max Cohen is capable of playing with tremendous sensitivity as well as driving rhythmic power, fusing fingerstyle artistry with solid groove. As an accompanist, his approach is appropriate for the music, and his attention to detail sets him apart from the crowd. Cohen is also a guitar teacher based in Massachusetts and a songwriter with Kerrville honors. Dar Williams calls him “an endearing and inspiring performer. I love Max!”
For more information, visit Josée Vachon's website.