Biography

Born in Québec and raised in Maine, Josée Vachon has shared her Franco-American upbringing through traditional and contemporary folksongs from Québec and Acadia and through her own compositions.

Though she often entertained at family gatherings, she began singing publicly with the support of the Franco-American Center at the University of Maine, where she discovered others who shared her rich heritage. After receiving her BA in Romance Languages in 1984, she continued to perform, quickly gaining recognition as a new Franco-American voice through early performances at state festivals in Maine and at schools and parish soirées.

Special Awards include:

  • Artist Fellowship in Traditional Arts 2020 from the Mass. Cultural Council
  • Bronze medal from La Société Académique ARTS-SCIENCES-LETTRES of Paris, France, 2019 in recognition of musical career
  • Franco-American of the Year, 2018, from the Franco-American Center of NH
  • French-Canadian Hall of Fame Class of 2007 from AFGS (American French Genealogical Society)
  • Cover of Maine Alumni Magazine, Spring 2006
  • National Culture Through the Arts Award, 1999 from NYSAFLT (NY State Assoc. of Foreign Language Teachers)
  • Josée Vachon Day and Key to the City of Woonsocket, RI, November 18, 1987

Served as a Franco-American ambassadrice, presenting at:

  • Constitution Hall, Washington D.C.
  • Women’s Singing Traditions of New England Tour, 1994
  • Congrès Mondial du Conseil International d’Etudes Francophones, Martinique
  • l’Institut Français, Berlin Germany
  • New Brunswick Canada tour
  • Festival été indien, St-Etienne France
  • Presentations & conferences on la francophonieQuébec Canada

International television appearances include:

  • Bonjour!, from March 1987 to April 1998, hosted over 500 tapings of the most widely seen French-language television show in the US, airing on cable and public television stations in Louisiana, the Northeastern US and Canada
  • Champs Elysées, Antenne 2, Paris France, as part of the Tour du monde de la francophonie with Radio-France
  • Le grand échiquier, Antenne 2, Paris France
  • Les démons du midi, Société Radio-Canada, Montréal
  • Coup d’oeil, CBC, Moncton NB

Her music was included in:

  • La Bolduc, a documentary for Canada’s History Channel
  • MicroSoft’s AutoMap Trip Planner software
  • Smithsonian Folkways CD Mademoiselle voulez-vous danser: Franco-American music from the New England Borderlands. The song Entre moi, originally performed with Chanterelle.

In July 1993, she co-founded the folk group Chanterelle with award-winning fiddler Donna Hébert and singer/guitarist Liza Constable, often joined by bass and cajun accordion player Alan Bradbury. The group released the CDs French in America (1994) and Soirée Chez Nous (1996).

Ms Vachon has 12 solo recordings to her credit, and continues to perform and record the music that best represents her love of Franco-American culture.

See the Past Performances page for a more complete listing.