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Commentators


Victor Provost

Victor Provost is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading voices on the unique, and often misunderstood, steel pan (or steel drum). Through appearances at concert halls, clubs, and stages throughout the world, he has been meticulously developing a reputation as a “dazzling” soloist, crafting an impressive improvisational voice and style. With a strong foundation in Bebop, a contemporary sensibility, and deep roots in Caribbean music, he seamlessly melds and mixes genres. The Washington D.C. City Paper’s “Jazz Percussionist of the Year” six years running, his new recording Bright Eyes debuted at #5 on the iTunes Top 40 Jazz Charts and has been met with praise from The Washington Post, Downbeat Magazine, and Hot House Magazine, as well as artists and presenters.

In addition to leading his own group, he has performed and recorded with Jazz luminaries such as Paquito D’Rivera, Hugh Masekela, Monty Alexander, Joe Locke, Nicholas Payton, Terell Stafford, Dave Samuels, Steve Nelson, Ron Blake, and Wycliffe Gordon, among others.

Victor is an Adjunct Professor of Music at George Mason University and conducts residencies and master classes throughout the United States and the Caribbean at schools such as Berklee College of Music in Boston, University of Akron, Miami University, NYU, TTU, and Northern Illinois University. He is also an Arts Ambassador to his hometown of the U.S. Virgin Islands, which honored him with a Special Congressional Recognition in 2014, and to which returns frequently to perform and teach as part of Dion Parson’s community-based arts initiative, the United Jazz Foundation.


Josanne Francis

Born and raised in the twin-island Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, Josanne Francis is an internationally known steelpan performer and music educator. Her music delivers that special 'extra' that separates her from even the greats, and catapults listeners into a unique and exceptional place. With hands that seem to float like the wings of a butterfly with a 'wand-like' touch, her music is not devoid of power when needed. Ms. Francis' music blends together and draws influences from traditional Calypso music, Jazz, Indian, Funk, Rock and Classical music- a unique mix which is not typical for the instrument.

Josanne has performed at venues such as the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall, and has appeared as a guest artist at festivals and universities across the United States, including the San Juan Conservatory of Music, San Juan Puerto Rico and the Caramoor Jazz Festival, NY. Josanne was recently one of 6 Artists in Residence at Strathmore for the 2017-2018 season. This year, Josanne has already toured Haiti and appeared on the Stephen Colbert Late Show. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Cultural Academy for Excellence, Inc. and runs her very own educational steelpan program Steel on Wheels, LLC.

EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND:
Master of Music, Northern Illinois University (2014)
Bachelor of Music Education, University of Southern Mississippi (2012)