Panache Quartet are Cape Breton fiddler Andrea Beaton, Franco-American fiddler Donna Hébert, Southern-style fiddler Jane Rothfield and Québecois fiddler Véronique Plasse. They wind their way into deeply musical conversations, each performance a journey of discovery.
All four women have successful careers performing, recording and teaching, with fans all around the world. Coming together to create new music, they also find the best of their own traditional music to present to each other and their audiences. Airs and waltzes become jigs and strathspeys. Marches flow into reels, crossing borders and finding new homes and rhythms. Listening to Panache Quartet, concert-goers experience art being made at the moment of inspiration! Four fiddles become four voices when they switch to chansons à répondre and ask the audience to sing along. With their traditional and original repertoire, Panache plays true roots music with a contemporary twist!
Andrea Beaton (Cape Breton) comes from a long line of musicians, composers and dancers. An award-winning fiddler, tune composer and recording artist, she is known for her powerful bow and driving style. Andrea tours and teaches internationally and is in great demand as a teacher at fiddle and dance camps and workshops. She has released five solo CDs, one duo album with her father, Kinnon Beaton, and a book of original tunes. In 2007, she recorded "The Beaton Family of Mabou," with her family for Smithsonian/Folkways. Most solo recordings were nominated for awards; her 2010 "Branches," CD was "Instrumental Recording of the Year" at the Canadian East Coast Music Awards. Musician, dancer, storyteller, she travels the globe, sharing Cape Breton culture and delighting audiences wherever she lands. (andreabeaton.com)
Donna Hébert (New England) is a state Artists’ Fellow in the Folk Arts whose fiddling was recognized in 2009 for “outstanding artistic achievement” by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. Also a member of Celtic trio Mist Covered Mountains and Franco-American group Chanterelle with singer Josée Vachon, Donna began as a contradance fiddler in the early 70s, founding Yankee Ingenuity in 1975. With 13 recordings and books and industry and arts council awards, she has twice recorded on Smithsonian collections. Donna teaches fiddle at Smith and Amherst Colleges and has received eight NEA-funded appointments as a master fiddle teacher. Dr. Alan Jabbour, [Dir. (ret.) American Folklife Center, Library of Congress] says "Donna is at the forefront of the developing field of fiddle pedagogy," while Berklee string prof Darol Anger says of her "Fiddling Demystified for Strings:" "Donna gets it all right!" (fiddlingdemystified.com)
Jane Rothfield (Old Time) is a longtime pillar of the Old-Time Appalachian music community, known for her award-winning fiddling, original tunes and sweet, rhythmic, melodic style. Musical partners with Donna Hébert since 1998 in Groovemama, Jane also performs in a duo with Scottish singer and husband Allan Carr. She and Allan also play with contradance band Coracree. Jane's other all-woman stringband, Sugar Pie, recently toured Australia playing their unique Old-Time music. A regular at Clifftop, Old Songs, Philly Folk and Fiddle Tunes festivals, Jane has 9 recordings to her credit. Her "Janie's Jump Start" immersion weekends feature skilled women faculty and a nurturing learning atmosphere. (janerothfield.com)
Véronique Plasse (Québec) is a tour de force of music. A leading proponent of the traditional music and songs of Québec, she performs internationally with the trio Barbo with Jean Desrochers and Guillaume Turcotte. Her repertoire of old Québecois music is bolstered by her own original tunes, and she is recognized for her sweet and fearless improvisational style. Former creative director of Young Musicians of the World Montreal, Véro also co-organized ten Commando Trad flash mobs of impromptu jams of Québecois folk music in public places, now documented on YouTube.
CONCERTS, WORKSHOPS & RESIDENCIES . . .
• Festivals, concerts, conferences - Recent and upcoming appearances and residencies include the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance, Celtic Society of Southern MD, Old Songs Festival, Toronto Harbourfront, La Grande Rencontre (Montreal), Crossroads Celtic Festival, Celtic Colours and others.
• Fiddling Across North America - documenting immigration patterns with music, showing how settlement patterns can be traced through the music that traveled with immigrant groups.
• The Joy of Fiddling - fiddle music makes you want to dance, and Panache shows how fiddlers put that irresistible "gotta dance!" into your feet! Sample lesson:http://fiddlingdemystified.com/blog/lesson-3-rhythm-bowing/
• Fiddling Demystified for Strings (for middle, high school and community music schools, college string departments) - learn a simple left-right hand method for learning authentic fiddle music in more than one style. Link to sample pages from Fiddling Demystified for Strings, Vol I: http://fiddlingdemystified.com/learn/aboutfd/
• Learn the Art of Groove (for middle, high school and community music schools, college string departments) - Focusing on rhythm and harmony, players learn to find chords and grooves in three harmonic patterns and three time signatures. Link to sample lesson:http://fiddlingdemystified.com/blog/lesson-art-of-groove/
REVIEWS . . .
Panache Quartet finished their second and third tours to full houses and high praise. Here’s a note the next day from the hardest sell, the guy who reluctantly came with his wife:
“Last night’s concert was magic. Really. I came to the concert as my wife’s somewhat reluctant companion. With four fiddle players, I figured my odds were pretty good that I might find one player’s style and selection tolerable. I steeled myself for a screechfest. Instead, I was blown away by your group’s mastery of the instrument, your harmonies, your personal banter — you clearly really enjoy working together — and the invention that springs from years of preparation. It was a joyful evening. The 100 or so of us in the room were very lucky to share the moment. Thank you all so very much. It was an unforgettable evening.” — Jim Cook [1/3/14, College Park MD]
“A name well chosen! It represents the individual strong presence of each performer in the group as well as the délicatesse of your music. The panache is there… The compositions are great, characterized with finesse and are melodically beautiful. I like it a lot, and I think your quartet is really strong, with a lot of panache!” Marc Bolduc, Tradotronik DJ at CIBL 105.4 FM, Montréal
“I absolutely LOVE the sound of Panache – really exciting playing! With Donna Hebert, Jane Rothfield, Veronique Plasse and Andrea Beaton, you have some of the finest exponents of Old-Time, New England, Québécois and Cape Breton styles going. Put them together and the result is a sound much more than the already considerable sum of its parts – driving rhythms, gorgeous harmonies and fiery improvisation are all in abundance, but the real winner for me is the sheer enthusiasm and energy in the playing – you can actually hear the smiles! Sometimes, when like minded musicians get together, there is a spark, a connection lets you bounce off each other, create something really special – this is it! “ Rua Macmillan of Blazing Fiddles, 2009 BBC Young Scotland Traditional Musician of the Year
“Tout comme le dit son patronyme, la musique de cet ensemble a belle et franche allure! Le dynamisme des 4 violons s’entremêle à la fougue des ornements et marque l’auditeur d’un coup qui frappe droit au but! Les différentes traditions «cousines» s’imbriquent l’une à l’autre avec brio pour créer cette musique bien en vie où le tout est évidemment supérieur à la somme des parties. Hourra pour et longue vie à Panache!” Pascal Gemme (Genticorum)
“Donna made theory feel like a fun puzzle to tackle, and a tool that would open up new doors to enjoying playing music with other people. That’s huge, since it can move people past thinking “theory is going to be hard, or boring, and won’t relate to what I want to play anyway.” Of course the approach of having us immediately apply it is an important part of that — people see that they can use the information to start doing stuff that sounds good, even if they’re still a little hazy on the concepts they just heard.” Susan Conger, music teacher [3/13/14 Smith College workshop: “Learn the Art of Groove”]
"Interesting variety of original and traditional material, and a nice touch to announce after a tune that one of you had written it - especially one that sounded like a real classic. I think audiences are often looking for some kind of emotional boost when they attend a concert; performers who broadcast real enjoyment of what they are doing are most likely to give them that, and Panache did that in spades. Your enthusiasm for each other and the music was powerful and a delight." — David Gusakov, jazz violinist [4/11/14 Bristol VT]
“WOW! An orchestral ensemble of fiddlers! Their gorgeous music make me feel like I’m in a movie. Panache nails it!” Louise Dunphy, Celtic Crossings DJ, WMUA 91.1 FM (Amherst), The River WRSI 93.9 FM (Northampton)