Project Created: “The Language of Flowers”
Quote: “I learned that it is a discipline and that in order to get better, you just have to do it.” – Joanne Pascale
“Etienne has an incredible eye for color and texture and his arrangements are a true reflection of what he sees. I felt he captured the essence of each flower and so sensitively brought each one to life through his harmonic, rhythmic and instrumentation choices.” – Joanna Pascale
Bio: Joanna insists that she cannot perform a song unless she can connect personally with its lyrics. Once she’s found that connection, there’s no one who can better convey the emotion of those words more directly and intimately than Pascale. That gift is in ample evidence on Pascale’s latest release, Wildflower, on which she’s joined by an all-star ensemble including pianists Orrin Evans and Cyrus Chestnut, harmonica master Gregoire Maret, bassist Christian McBride, and neo-soul singer Bilal. The recording of Wildflower coincided with the end of Pascale’s decade long engagement at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, which allowed her to hone her voice, style, and vast repertoire. A singer of sophisticated taste, profound expressiveness, and raw emotion, Pascale is also a gifted educator who is a member of the vocal faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and also teaches in the Creative Music Program at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. She’s been featured on recordings by Jeremy Pelt, Tim Warfield, Orrin Evans, Larry McKenna, the Temple University Jazz Band, and Garry Dial and Dick Oatts. Pascale made her recording debut with 2004’s "When Lights Are Low", followed by 2008's "Through My Eyes" and a 2010 duo recording with pianist Anthony Wonsey released on her Stiletto Records label. She holds a BA from Temple University and currently teaches and performs internationally.
Project Description: It’s a song cycle written in the tradition of the great American songbook. And inspired by, “The Language and Poetry of Flowers,” an 1847 publication on the art of floriography. Floriography is the art of using flowers to communicate emotions and sentiments without words and it became wildly popular during the Victorian era when open expression of emotions was culturally unacceptable. This project was a deeply personal and intimate exploration of a woman’s soul and psyche told through the lens of a flower.
Words and Music by Joanna Pascale
Arranged by Etienne Charles
Joanna Pascale – Composer, Lyricist, Vocalist Etienne Charles – Arranger, Trumpet
Ellie Heyman – Director
Venissa Santi – Co-Writer of He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not & Fraxinella’s Flame
Orrin Evans – Piano
Jason Fraticelli – Bass
Anwar Marshall – Drums
John Ellis - Tenor Sax, Bass Clarinet
Chris Oatts - Alto Sax, Flute
Performance Dates: Joanna & Etienne were in residency at the Kimmel Center from November 2016 – May 2017. Their student workshop was held on January 27, their public workshop on January 12, their work-in-progress on March 9, and their world premiere was held on May 12, 2017.