Canadian songbird to meet local musicians

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a month ago

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By: Matṧeliso Phulane

Canadian singer, songwriter and guitarist Melissa Laveaux will join Basotho female musicians for a Women in Music Roundtable discussion at the State Library’s American Corner in Maseru on Monday next week.

This was disclosed by the American Embassy in a statement this week.

Laveaux is in Lesotho hosted by the Embassy and Alliance Française Maseru.

According to the Embassy, the musician of Haitian descent is on residency in Maseru for her new album.

The roundtable discussion is all about what women face within the live music space in Lesotho and the world, the different challenges each person has come across, and what can be done to make the music scene stronger and more inclusive in the future. 

“This is the first roundtable discussions that we are hosting as the Embassy. Normally when we have visiting artists, we organise discussions between them and local artists who are in the same space. This serves as a platform for them to share experiences,” American Embassy public relations officer, Moeketsi Chefa, told this publication yesterday.

Mélissa Laveaux, born on January 9, 1985, is a Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist of Haitian descent.

Known for her unique blend of roots, folk, and blues, she captivates audiences with her soulful vocals and percussive finger-style guitar playing.

In 2006, Laveaux released her debut full-length album, showcasing her own compositions co-produced with percussionist Rob Reid and Lisa Patterson. She has garnered critical acclaim from publications like ColorLines and was honoured with the Songs from the Heart award at the 2006 Ontario Council of Folk Festivals’ conference for her song “Koud’lo”.

Laveaux has shared the stage with influential artists such as Meshell Ndegeocello, Feist, and Lura. She has graced numerous jazz and popular music festivals worldwide, including appearances at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Cully Jazz, and Donostia Jazzaldia.

While France remains a frequent venue for her performances, she has also enchanted audiences in Japan and Spain.

Her musical journey has been featured on CBC Radio programmes and national broadcasts, highlighting her captivating presence in the music scene. Laveaux holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Ethics from the University of Ottawa.

In 2009, she collaborated with producer MaJiKer on a track for his B-side EP, demonstrating her versatility and creative prowess.

In 2018, her album “Radyo Siwel” earned a spot on the long list for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.

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