Born: July 28, 1984 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Celebrating her debut album, Lead Me Home, Jean Rohe is quickly becoming a gem of New York City’s jazz and Brazilian music scene. After winning both the audience favorite and second place award at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2006, Jean assembled an unusual sextet, featuring accordion, clarinet, and South American percussion. The resulting project involves the full breadth of Jean’s stylistic attractions, challenging traditional boundaries around musical genres. Her original compositions and fresh arrangements of songs from Latin America explore the intersections of jazz, North American folk music, Brazilian and Afro-Peruvian traditions. Her singing and compositions have now filled venues from the Birdland to Havana’s Teatro Nacional.
What sets Jean’s performance apart is that it invites the listener to engage with body, heart, and mind, through captivating storytelling, astute, socially conscious lyrics, and lively rhythms and melodies, in a participatory experience that involves singing, clapping, or dancing along. “The act of singing together is uniquely subversive,” Jean says. “It breaks us out of our individual isolation and carries us into a new space of community with our fellow human beings.”
A versatile musician, Jean began her musical career at eight years old with her family folk band. She has performed with Blue Note recording artist, Robert Glasper, Cuban jazz drummer Dafnis Prieto, and can also be heard with David Moore’s new music ensemble, “Bing and Ruth” and in duet with Liam Robinson, playing traditional American and Irish folk music. She has been heard on New York public radio as part of the Wordless Music Series and co-wrote and performed the music for the feature film “Noise” (2004).
Awards:2006 Montreux Jazz Festival Shure Vocal Competition 2nd place and audience choice awards 2009 Blue Mountain Center Artist in Residency