Johnson/Biddle & Poulain
LEADER
BIOGRAPHY

SONIA JOHNSON
CHARLES BIDDLE JR
ANNIE POULAIN

Photo credit: Alexandre Deslauriers


SONIA JOHNSON

Blame it on Donato! Sonia Johnson was not planning on a career in jazz. All it took was a few master classes with the renowned bass virtuoso and she was hooked. Though known as a jazz artist, Sonia has never turned her back on other musical genres, leading an eclectic and varied musical career.

A woman of many talents, Sonia produced her first opus, Don’t Explain, in 2005. It is a multilingual collection of jazz standards bursting with the freshness of scat, a style Sonia is particularly fond of. Her latest album, Le Carré de nos amours, 2012 JUNO Award winner for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year, is a perfect blend of the improvisational spontaneity of jazz and the lyricism of French chanson à texte. The fiery singer’s passion for both musical traditions is on full display in this latest effort.

Ms. Johnson has performed at many high-profile events — including the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Jazz en rafale and the Festival en chanson de Petite-Vallée — and has won several prizes and bursaries from the Fondation du maire de Montréal pour la jeunesse, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Que´bec and Musicaction.

Sonia has had the privilege of collaborating with exceptional musicians throughout her career, including Vic Vogel, François Bourassa, Sylvain Provost, Félix Stüssi, Roberto Lopez, John Roney, Marianne Trudel, Karen Young and Dawn Tyler Watson.

So thank you, Mr. Donato! Without your influence, jazz lovers would not be blessed with Sonia Johnson’s original and refreshing vocal talents...

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CHARLES BIDDLE JR

Son of the great jazzman Charlie Biddle, who’s reputation speaks for itself, Charles always knew to set himself new challenges, overcome borders and explore new artistic approaches. All mediums of expression fascinate him – Charles Biddle Jr. is an artist of unprecedented versatility, bestowed with a rich musical heritage. Charles expresses himself as well in English as in French and remains accessible to a public that attends his appearances. Popular on the Internet, Charles has hundreds of fans on social media.

In television, Charles secured his first role on the mini-series La misère des riches, followed by a major role in Les Machos on TVA. Subsequently he co-hosted Life styles, a current affairs program on CFCF. In film Charles appeared with Catherine Deneuve and Christophe Lambert in Paroles et musique and in Hawk’s Vengeance alongside Gary Daniels and Vlasta Vrana.
 
One of the principle performers in Luc Plamondon and Richard Cocciante’s rock opera Notre-Dame de Paris, Charles has also conquered the musical theatre realm. For his role of “Clopin,” head of the bohemians in the 2000 production, he won a Félix at the prestigious ADISQ Gala.
 
The adventure continues… musical theatre, Las Vegas, a European tour through France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy – to finally find himself under the night skies of Lebanon. A television commercial, voicing for advertising jingles, and of course, little jazzy performances at “Biddle’s Jazz and ribs” Quelle expérience !

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ANNIE POULAIN

Annie Poulain is one of those unassuming artists with a more than thriving career. On the scene since the early 2000s, the singer decided to specialize in the composition and arrangement of French jazz pieces. She has been seen, notably, on the stages of the Festival de Jazz de Québec, Festival International de Jazz de Rimouski, Festival de Jazz de Lévis, Festival International d’Été de Québec, SunFest in London, Ontario, Festival de Jazz de Port-au-Prince in Haiti and opening for Luc de Larochelière in Paris.

With two albums to her credit, Jazzons Québec and Saoulée à l’autre for which she is responsible on several levels, from the composition to the production, not to mention the arrangements, Annie Poulain is currently pursuing her personal trajectory around the world of song and jazz, between seas and travels, between writing projects and foreign professional development. Her popularity never ceases to grow since her second opus was released in 2009. The media infatuation and coverage confirm her multiple talents. Her latest album quickly became one of the most appreciated CDs of the summer on Espace musique and Planète Jazz airwaves, not to mention being crowned ‘Artist of the month’ on the former. Ordination is within reach: Annie Poulain’s CD Saoulée à l’autre was in nomination in the ‘Jazz Album of the Year’ category of the 2010 ADISQ gala.

The following years promise to be rich creatively and for the realization of great musical projects. Notably, Annie was seen on the stage of the Coup de Cœur Francophone in Montréal in November 2012 alongside Philippe Noireault and Jessica Vigneault for a tribute to the late Sylvain Lelièvre.

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