"Audience Spellbound...Rabu's Piaf is Magic" Calgary Herald, Alberta
Over the past 3 decades, Canadian singer-songwriter-actor Joëlle Rabu has toured throughout 5 continents with both her concert of original songs and her stage play: 'Tonight... Piaf'. A two-time Jessie Award winner, Juno nominee, Excellence in the Arts award winner, and Touring Artist of the Year recipient, Joëlle won international critical acclaim for her theatrical portrayal of the Parisian chanteuse, Edith Piaf, the iconic singer whose recordings were heard throughout Joëlle's French upbringing in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
A move to British Columbia's west coast had Joëlle make her stage debut at Vancouver's City Stage in 1983 and she was instantly touted as an overnight singing sensation by the media and public alike with her Piaf-esque voice and passionate delivery. After more than 500 performances as the little Sparrow, Joëlle continued on to perform in numerous theatre productions (Anything Goes, Marion Bridge, Murder on the Nile, Irma la Douce, Cabaret, to name but a few) and she toured her concert for years with her long-time trio as well as making several guest appearances with major symphony orchestras across Canada and the USA.
JOELLE RABU IN CONCERT promises an intimate evening of musicality and theatricality. The concert features songs performed in English, French and Spanish and present a special tribute to a cornucopia of torch song era greats in addition to some moments spiced with laughter. Piaf fans won't be disappointed! As one critic summed it up so well: "Rabu is Edith Piaf, Bette Midler and Carole Burnett all rolled into one extraordinary performer. Her passion-filled voice is spine-tingling and her stage presence electric." A theatre patron's observation of Nico Rhodes' musical ability: "Breathtakingly fresh sounds and style radiate from this young musician whose hands effortlessly fly across a keyboard leaving us in utter amazement and jumping to our feet at the end of a solo!"
Well-known for her ability to delve into several musical styles, Joëlle's interpretation of classic European cabaret-style tunes, jazz melodies, and heart wrenching torch songs has left audiences spellbound. What makes her current stage show even more unique and entertaining is the connection she has with her accompanist pianist, Nico Rhodes. Nico is Joëlle's 24-year-old son who is making his own headlines on both the western Canadian jazz and musical theatre scenes. An exceptionally talented music director, arranger and musician, Nico's star is rising quickly with music direction credits that include 'A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline', 'Some Enchanted Evening', 'All Shook Up', 'Frankie & Johnny in the Claire de Lune', 'It's a Wonderful Life' to name a few. His most exciting project premiered in February 2014 when his orchestral arrangements of the songs of Rick Scott were performed by the Vancouver Island Symphony orchestra.
Nico Rhodes was raised on tour with his singer mom and lighting designer dad and a trio of musicians who nurtured his musical upbringing 'by osmosis'. By the time Nico was 16 he had already won several classical piano and jazz saxophone competitions. At 17, he was introduced to musical theatre playing sax, flute, bass and piano in a Cole Porter show. His mom played one of the leads. The rest as they say, is history...
Joëlle was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba shortly after her parents emigrated from Brittany, France. She spent her adolescence in Courtenay on Vancouver Island and, at the age of 16 left home for 3 years to travel around the world with a childhood friend fulfilling her intrigue of languages and world cultures. She returned to work in her family's Island restaurant and truly thought her destiny rested in the tourism business until her brother bragged about her singing abilities to a Vancouver stage director. A chance audition and a whirlwind stage debut in 1983 in the City Stage musical hit 'PIAF, Her Songs Her Loves', won her critical acclaim and 2 JESSIE Awards after a one-year run of the show, one of Vancouver's longest running musicals. And again, the rest is history...
"Her voice is impeccable, her acting outstanding...Rabu is a remarkable singer." Townships Week, Quëbec