Primary Instrument: Vocalist
A world-class vocalist, Jeannie Gagné has sung with Philip Glass, opened for Bare Naked Ladies, performed for NBC-TV with comedians Penn and Teller, toured with reggae legend Frankie Paul, and sings on the soundtrack for the feature film Anima Mundi (1993). She has received extensive press coverage such as feature stories on PBS's All Things Considered and the CBS Evening News. Literally 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 and performance 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 as well as considerable charm on stage.
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, Sarah MacLachlan, Sheryl Crow and Margo Timmins of Cowboy Junkies.
Jeannie has a way of reaching audiences. People often come away from performances beaming and moved. Incredibly, one woman, who was battling cancer and heard Jeannie sing, said Jeannie's singing had moved her so much it made a profound impact on her struggle with the disease.
Jeannie was the Artistic Director of The Halalisa Singers, Boston's leading world-music and eclectic chorus, from January 2003 to June 2004. She helped the group enhance its unique world-music style and broaden its repetoire and venues. Recently she directed The Circle of Life at the celebration concert for retiring Berklee President Lee Berk.
As a former board member and active clinician with the Unitarian Universalist (UU) 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 UU president William Sinkford to be part of a six-person team from across the US that created Singing the Journey,the new contemporary hymnal for the denomination that has outsold all other UUA publications to date. She is also the Music Director of a UU Society in southeastern Massachusetts.
Jeannie leads workshops around the country on personal empowerment through singing, jazz/pop improv techniques and joyful movement. Recently she travelled to the Pacific Northwest and California, offering both workshops and jazz/soul concerts. (To see the article in Oregon's Corvallis Gazette Times. click here.
Jeannie's debut album, Wide Open Heart earned considerable play on college, commercial and internet radio. With its virtuosity and fresh sound, this recording boasts some of pop music's hottest players including Shawn Pelton (Letterman, Saturday Night Live Band, Jon Bon Jovi), Zev Katz (Donald Fagen, Judy Collins), Marc Shulman (Shawn Colvin, Suzanne Vega, Jennifer Kimball) and Everett Bradley (headliner in Broadway's Swing, Billy Joel, original cast of Stomp).
Wide Open Heart reflects Jeannie's years of growth as an artist. The songs are real, and poignant. In Jeannie's uniquely honest and straightforward style, these songs illustrate both hardship and joy, and the choices and compromises we make. Some 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, Blues Me, Baby was recorded live at Berklee College of Music with outstanding musicians and features both original songs by Jeannie and classic blues tunes such as Stevie Ray Vaughn's Pride and Joy and Etta James' Something's Got a Hold on Me. Jeannie was awarded a Faculty Grant for this project from Berklee.
Jeannie is now working with legendary producer Mitchell Green on her newest project, featuring original songs about life's journey which showcase her unique vocal style.
Jeannie's professional career began singing at the tender age of four with the renowned Tri-Cities Opera in upstate New York. Singing in perfect tune since babyhood, Jeannie grew up in a musical family, training on piano since 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, where she was a percussionist with the acclaimed West African ensemble Talking Drums. Jeannie is now equally comfortable singing Rachmaninof, jazz and blues standards or Joni Mitchell songs.
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. Music Technology Magazine adds, Jeannie is stunning...the girl can sing. A class act.
Jeannie has lived most of her life in New York City, but a few years ago she and her family moved to rural Massachusetts. In their new hometown Jeannie has become well-known for her singing, writing, and as a musical leader in the community, where she does, as she says, 'What I do best.'