Samantha Robichaud has always been a spirited performer, composer and recording artist. More than a decade and a half as a professional fiddler player, step-dancer, vocalist and all ‘round entertainer has given the phenomenally talented New Brunswick native the experience, maturity and confidence to chart her own musical course. It has also allowed her true and authentic personality to shine through – her plucky irreverence, charm, wit and dare we say it, ‘sass’, are winning over audiences throughout North America and beyond.
Robichaud was dazzled by a fiddle player she saw on television when she was barely out of diapers and begged her parents for lessons, finally picking up the instrument at age four. She has never looked back. That initial passion and acumen for the violin has stayed with her and propelled her into the classical music ranks with the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra as a teen, adding a depth and level of proficiency and theoretical music training that is rarely seen in popular fiddle players.
Now in her late 20s, Robichaud has shed the precociousness of her younger days, becoming a fiddling firebrand, full of the intensity that comes with having fully given herself to her craft, while maintaining her youthful exuberance and approachability. In short, Samantha Robichaud has blossomed into the consummate professional whose on stage showmanship and musical virtuosity leaves audiences of all ages enraptured and clamoring for more.
While outwardly she may have conformed to the expectations of others while she learned the “ins and outs” of the music business, when it comes to her music, Robichaud has never allowed herself to be pigeonholed. She has adapted her early Cape Breton and Acadian influences and added a dash Old Timey and Americana fiddles styles to create a virtuosic sound that is truly her own.
A prolific recording artist, Robichaud has released seven critically acclaimed albums to date. Her latest offering, titled In The Green Room (in homage to the collaborative nature of the project), earned her the 2013 MusicNB award for “Collaborative Musician of The Year”. A perfect blend of her own solo compositions, co-written tunes and prime selections from her contemporaries, In The Green Room features a stellar line up of guest artists including Dave Gunning, Matt Anderson, Ashley MacIsaac, Charlie A’Court, JP Cormier, Thom Swift, Curly Boy Stubbs, Alex Madsen, Irish Mythen, Benoit Bourque, Chris Colepaugh and The Treble. In The Green Room was recorded, mixed and mastered at The Millstream in Toronto, with JUNO award-winning producer Paul Mills at the helm.
Robichaud’s ability to captivate music lovers, both on record and live in concert, has led to some incredible life experiences for the still very young artist. One of the most significant was the chance to fulfill a lifelong dream by performing at the opening ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. From a musician’s standpoint, the opportunity to play at the Grand Ole Opry and New York’s Carnegie Hall, are phenomenal and rare benchmarks. Robichaud has done both. She also performed for Queen Elizabeth during her Silver Jubilee Celebrations in 2002, for Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall in 2012, toured China as professional soloist with the NB Youth Orchestra, took centre stage at Acadian World Congress closing show, twice played the prestigious Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco and countless other festivals and events. She was asked to compose a piece for the soundtrack of radio documentary “This is My America”, with narration by Dolly Parton, while her original compositions – “Ladies of The Storm” and “T-Bone’s Jig” (from her 2010 “Fans Choice” ECMA winning CD, Collected) were featured in recent episodes of the Showcase TV series “Lost Girl”.
In 2005 Robichaud was awarded the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin, as part of the Daniel Pearl Foundation’s World Music Days, created in honour of the Wall Street Journal reporter murdered by the Taliban in Pakistan in 2002. She was both the first female and first Canadian to receive his significant honour. She tours North America as an ambassador for the organization, telling people about Daniel’s story, his passion for music, and how music can powerfully impact lives.
Her lengthy and impressive array of awards, accolades and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities have happened because of the music that Samantha Robichaud has created and the exquisite joy she brings to audiences in performing it. Robichaud is imbued with an abiding desire to spread the joy that has encompassed her life through music, whether it’s through more recordings, more shows or more teaching opportunities. “Music has brought to me something that is really unique. It brought me profound happiness, so I love sharing it with other people. I want everyone to feel that same joy.”
Lessons Taught by Samantha Robichaud
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