Johanne Blouin is a multi-talented artist whose creative path has been marked by a wealth of diverse experience and learning. The mastery of singing and dedication to her craft, however, did not develop overnight. Born to musical family - her father a noted trombonist, and her mother a singer – Johanne was surrounded from an early age by music. It's no surprise then, that she chose this path. Lyricist, composer and chanteuse, Blouin's musical reach is broad; she's as comfortable in the pop arena as she is with veteran jazz musicians. However, Johanne didn't actually study singing – she's a natural.
As a child, she studied classical dance for a ten-year period at the Royal Academy of Dance, the hallowed London-based institution whose schools are established the world over, including Montreal. She later studied at the Université de Montréal, where she earned a B.A. in Music, and at the prestigious Banff School of Fine Arts, where she studied Musical Theatre. Regardless of the diversity of her early training, Johanne's first love was clearly singing - and it must be said that she certainly was blessed with a beautiful voice! With this goal in mind, she persevered with keen determination and focus. As her solid career thus far has amply demonstrated, performing and singing are second nature to Johanne Blouin.
It was at age sixteen that Johanne Blouin started appearing regularly on stage, getting to know Québec's bars, theatres and nightclubs, paying her dues. Four years later, her first experience in jazz was as part of the fusion-jazz group Tasman, fronted by pianist François Marcaurelle, in 1978. Blouin also worked extensively as a backing singer at this time, supporting many well-established artists. It was at this heady time that the now twenty-five year old singer joined the cast of the phenomenally successful Québec musical Starmania, for what would be its Montreal debut. Blouin's clear and powerful voice made waves, and unsurprisingly she found herself in high demand on television as well as in advertising, performing as many as 250 sessions in one year! And this, in addition to solo and back up work. It was the greatest training she could have hoped for, in terms of perfecting her craft.
In June of 1987, she performed, for the first time, 'Le P'tit Bonheur' by Félix Leclerc, during the course of a musical evening organized by Radiomutuel. This generated a significant buzz in Québec's music business, which lead, the following year, to her debut album, Merci Félix, her hommage to Félix Leclerc, which enjoyed astounding success, reaching gold, and then platinum sales status, while also helping to bring Leclerc's music to a new generation of listeners. It also received two Félix Awards, at the annuel Gala presented by ADISQ, Québec's equivalent to the National Academy of Recording Arts and its Grammy Awards.
In 1989, ADISQ awarded Johanne the prize for Best Female Singer. She then recorded the eponymous Johanne Blouin, which also won an award. This record also went platinum, and featured the single 'Dors Caroline,' written by Pierre Flynn and Gilles Bélanger. Blouin followed up this success with Sainte Nuit, a Christmas record issued in 1990, which also achieved Platinum sales and was nominated at that year's ADISQ Gala. Her first album of self-penned material was Entre l'amour et la guerre (1992). In 1993, Johanne initiated a recording project that was also her own concept. Au nom de l'amour would unite many of Québec's top stars to record a benefit album to help those afflicted with AIDS. She recruited such stars as Michel Pagliaro, Nanette Workman, Bruno Pelletier, Robert Charlebois, Pierre Flynn, Jean-Pierre Ferland, Daniel Bélanger and others, and it too was a runaway success. With the wind in her sails, Johanne that same year started her own record company, Étoile du Nord, and recorded Souviens-moi, comprised of some of the finest and best-loved french songs, including 'Avec le temps,' 'De la main gauche,' 'Ne me quitte pas,' 'La chanson des vieux amants,' and 'Les feuilles mortes.' This record went gold…in the Far East, of all places! The story doesn't end there – far from it.
In 1994, a second Christmas record, entitled Johanne Blouin chante Noël, went gold and was nominated for a Juno Award. This was followed up with Elle le dira (1995). De Félix à aujourd'hui (1996), was a collection of her greatest hits, in addition to an original song from David Foster, after which came Noëls d'espoir, recorded with Michel Legrand (1997). With that same year came recognition from the other side of the Atlantic: a Silver Medal from l'Académie française, specifically its Société académique des Arts, des Lettres et des Sciences.
In 1998 came the release of what would be the last recording on her own label Étoile du nord. Que veux-tu que j'te dise was dedicated to the best songs of Jean-Pierre Ferland. In addition to her prodigious recorded output, Johanne Blouin has given numerous concerts, notably in a jazz setting. She has collaborated with the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal in a group with Michel Donato, Bernard Primeau, Michel Legrand and Phil Woods, and she opened for none other than Al Jarreau at a sold-out Place des Arts. This passion for jazz developed into a project in 2000 with the recording Everything must change, the first fruit of her relationship with Justin Time Records. The recording was made in New York, with some of that city's finest musicians, including John Hicks, Bobby Watson and Curtis Lundy.
This was followed by, in 2004, the release of Until I met you, again on Justin Time Records. In the company of pianist, arranger and band leader Vic Vogel with Le Jazz Big Band, Johanne Blouin has again immersed herself wholeheartedly into a jazz project, with stunning results. With worldwide sales of over 600,000 units, and an illustrious career spanning over three decades, Johanne Blouin is one of the most successful singers. She's someone who is deeply engaged, focused on her art, yet spontaneous and charming.
She's a passionate perfomer who always gives it her all. Whether onstage or on record, you can always count on Johanne Blouin to move you, delivering moments of pure musical pleasure, in her own captivating way. Management: Bob Pover T: 514-529-JAZZ E: firstname.lastname@example.org