Class of 2007
Born in Quebec and raised in Maine, Josee Vachon has been sharing her Franco-American upbringing for over 20 years, through traditional and contemporary folksongs from Quebec and Acadia, as well as her own compositions.
Though she often entertained at her 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 a same, rich heritage. She quickly gained recognition as a new Franco-American voice through her first performances at state festivals in Lewiston and Madawaska, Maine and at schools and parish soirées.
Josee Vachon was awarded the 1999 National Culture Through the Arts Award from NY State Association of Foreign Language Teachers for her work in schools and her knowledge and appreciation of foreign languages and cultures. She has served as a Franco-American ambassadrice through musical presentations at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., the Women´s Singing Traditions of New England Tour of 1994, the Congrès Mondial du Conseil International d’Etudes Francophones in Martinique, at l’Institut Francais in Berlin, Germany, tour of New Brunswick, Canada and Festival été indien in St-Etienne, France as well as several times in Quebec at presentations and conferences on la francophonie.
Her international television appearances include Champs Elysées on Antenne 2, PARIS as part of the Tour du monde de la francophonie with Radio-France; Le grand échiquier on Antenne 2, PARIS; Les démons du midi on Société Radio-Canada, MONTREAL; and Coup d’oeil on CBC MONCTON, N.B.
From March of 1987 to April of 1998, Josée Vachon hosted over 500 tapings of “Bonjour!”, the most widely-seen French-language television show in the U.S., airing on various cable and public television stations throughout the Northeastern U.S. and Canada as well as Louisiana, produced by ACA Assurance and Media One.
In July, 1993 she co-founded the folk group, Chanterelle, The group released its first CD, french in america, in January of 1994 and Soirée chez nous in 1996, offering Franco-American music to a wider audience.
She has 11 solo recordings to her credit so far and continues to perform and record the music that best represents her love of Franco-American culture.