Artist Bio – Josanne Francis
Josanne Francis is a world renowned steelpan performer and educator and
currently serves as the Artistic Director if the Cultural Academy For Excellence
(CAFE), a non-profit organization which uses the steelpan and the arts as a catalyst
to develop the passion and discipline for learning, leadership, and academic
achievement. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the
University of Southern Mississippi and her Master’s in Music with an emphasis on
Steelpan performance from the Northern Illinois University, where she studied
under Liam Teague. Throughout her performance career, Josanne has won several
competitions including the Northern Illinois University Concerto Competition and
the American Protégé International Competition, the latter of which led to a recital
at the prestigious Carnegie Hall, making her the first female to perform on the
steelpan as a solo instrument at the venue.
Josanne’s innate artistic ability allows her to develop programs that promote and
encourage artistic expression, awareness, and appreciation within and among
different cultures. She has appeared as a keynote and guest speaker at conferences
and meetings, including venues such as the Queen’s Royal College of Trinidad.
Josanne has performed as a guest artist at Howard University, the University of
Maryland, and Humboldt State University, and can be heard on the albums of Starlift
Steel Orchestra, The Mawasi Experience, and the Afro-Bop Alliance.