Must Be Love
Music Technology says of songwriter/vocalist Jeannie Gagné: 'Stunning...the girl can sing. A class act.' A world-class vocalist, Jeannie Gagné has sung with Philip Glass, for NBC-TV with comedians Penn and Teller, and with reggae legend Frankie Paul. She has received extensive press coverage such as feature stories on PBS radio's All Things Considered and the CBS-TV Evening News. Singing with the soundtrack of West Side Story before she learned to speak and writing songs since toddlerhood, Jeannie has always known that music is her life. A veteran performer, Jeannie is a voice professor at the world-renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she teaches voice, performance and working with a band, in pop, rock, blues, jazz, folk, and classical styles. She has developed into a rare vocalist and teacher with seemingly limitless styles and chops at her disposal. Jeannie sings from the depths of her soul with rare skill and passion. Her four-octave range and unique vocal style go from strong blues-influenced singing from-the-gut, to lyrical, beautiful and sometimes haunting reflective singing. She performs jazz with equal agility, and is seen frequently in the Boston area and elsewhere. Her pop/rock sound has been compared to Bonnie Raitt, Eva Cassidy, and Margo Timmins of Cowboy Junkies. Audiences are moved like never before. Incredibly, one woman who heard Jeannie sing who was battling cancer said Jeannie had moved her so much that it made a profound impact on her struggle with the disease. Jeannie began singing professionally at the tender age of four with the renowned Tri-Cities Opera in upstate New York. She was a percussionist with the acclaimed West African ensemble Talking Drums. Singing in perfect tune since babyhood, Jeannie grew up in a musical family, training on piano in grade school and teaching herself guitar at age eight. Later she studied to be a lyrical soprano and received a BA in music from Wesleyan University. Jeannie is now equally comfortable singing Rachmaninof, jazz standards or classic Joni Mitchell songs. She is receiving her M.A. in Voice and Wellness from Lesley University in Cambridge. Jeannie has been interviewed by People Magazine, college radio stations, various New York City TV stations, and many regional newspapers. NYC's Downtown Magazine writes about Jeannie's solo singer/songwriter work, 'Few vocalists create images and stir emotions merely with the sound of their voice. All the great ones do, and Jeannie does, too.' As a Board Member of the Unitarian Universalist Musician's Network, Jeannie donates much of her time to creating music that is nurturing and inspiring. In September 2003 she was personally appointed by Unitarian Universalist President William Sinkford to be part of a six-person team to create a new, contemporary hymnal. In June 2005 she will be leading thousands in song at several events during the annual gathering of UUs, in Ft Worth Texas. Three of her original compositions are also being debuted then. As a conductor, Jeannie was the Artistic Director of The Halalisa Singers, a reknown world-music ensemble, and Music Director of the UU Society in Middleboro, MA. With jazz legend Stan Strickland Jeannie offers workshops on personal empowerment through singing and joyful movement. Jeannie's debut album 'Wide Open Heart' earned considerable play on college, commercial and internet radio. With it's virtuosity and fresh sound, this recording boasts some of pop music's hottest players including Shawn Pelton (Saturday Night Live Band, Jon Bon Jovi), Zev Katz (Donald Fagen, Judy Collins), Marc Shulman (Shawn Colvin, Suzanne Vega) and Everett Bradley (headliner in Broadway's Swing, Billy Joel, original cast of Stomp). 'Wide Open Heart' (also available on CDBaby) reflects Jeannie's growth and maturity over her years of development as an artist. The songs are real, and poignant. In Jeannie's uniquely honest and straightforward style, they illustrate hardship and joy as well as the choices and compromises that we make. Some of the songs look at how to find healing in difficult situations; some tell a story; and others are just plain fun, finding humor even in daily routine. Jeannie's new second album Must Be Love was recorded at Berklee College of Music with outstanding musicians, and features both strong original writing by Jeannie as well as classic blues tunes such as Stevie Ray Vaughn's Pride and Joy and Etta James' Something's Got a Hold on Me. Jeannie received a Faculty Grant for this project from Berklee. Jeannie has lived most of her life in New York City, but now she and her family live in rural Massachusetts, where Jeannie has become well known for her singing, writing, and as a musical leader. With the release of Wide Open Heart, the local paper wrote, 'Every hometown has it's share of celebrities, and ours may very well be the home of the next musical mega-star when Jeannie Gagné does, as she says, 'What I do best.' '