THE 2024 NATIONAL DAY ARTISAN PRIZE AWARDED TO MARJO

Montreal, May 23, 2024 – As part of the National Day Kickoff, the Mouvement national des Québécoises et Québécois (MNQ), in partnership with the government of Quebec, wanted to celebrate the author-composer and performer Marjowhose exceptional work spans nearly 50 years.

With a million albums sold, around sixty songs to her credit, and a plethora of great hits, numerous awards and recognitions – including 14 Félix awards, Marjo embodies the very soul of Quebec culture. The one who goes crisscrosses our territory and our hearts with its catchy melodies and its lyrics imbued with emotion. An emblematic figure of the National Day, she enchants us with a captivating tenderness and inspires us with a pure energy of which only she has the secret. Marjo is an artist with total charisma, whose musical imprint will remain engraved in the history of Quebec for generations to come. In recognition of his invaluable contribution, the MNQ awarded him the prestigious National Day Artisan Prizeshe thus joins the list of “giants” who have shaped contemporary Quebec.

An emotional tribute was offered to Marjo, in front of an intimate audience. Visual memories, sincere words, and songs followed one another. The musicians of Marjo, under the direction of Pascal Mailloux on the piano, with Demetrio Masso on the drums, Eric Rock on guitar and Dominic Romanelli on bass, accompanied in turn France Castel, Breen LeBoeufAnd Maude Cyr-Deschênes on the songs Elsewhere, If needs beAnd In love. After a warm testimony, the spokesperson for National Day 2024, Benoit McGinnis joined the singers for I won’t let go as a final bouquet. Photographer and long-time friend of Marjo, Pierre Durypresented him with the Artisan de la Fête nationale prize, designed by Armand Vaillancourt.

BIOGRAPHY OF MARJO

An essential artist in local music, Marjo is a singer-songwriter with a powerful voice and a strong personality. His career, punctuated by landmark hits, remarkable song lyrics and unforgettable stage performances, has helped shape the world of French-speaking rock.

Born on August 2, 1953 in Montreal (Quebec), Marjo, whose real name is Marjolène Morin, was immersed in music from a very young age. Barely 2 years old, she earns 25 cents every morning by singing The little heart after 9 o’clock at the garage next door. When she first started on stage, she can be seen and heard in shows: All hot, all show (1975), directed by Paul Buissonneau, and The island in town (1978) by François Guy. »

In 1979, she joined the group Corbeau as a performer, composer and author of songs (notably Cash-moé, after the departure of founder and singer-songwriter Pierre Harel). His distinctive voice and his straightforwardly poetic lyrics, which knew how to reach the public, quickly attracted the attention of critics and the public, and helped to make Corbeau one of the most influential groups on the Quebec rock scene. 80s. A whole people knows their successes Illegal, Elsewhere or I won’t let gowritten and composed with Jean Millaire, who became his companion of heart and professional life from Corbeau’s second album, Mad. By fusing rock with elements of blues and folk, Marjo and Corbeau paved the way for a new era of Quebec rock and left a lasting mark on the French-speaking music scene.

After leaving Corbeau in 1984, Marjo sang in the blues bars of rue Saint-Denis in Montreal. The following year, she co-wrote and performed the song Touch me with Yves Laferrière and Paule Baillargeon, who won the Genie Award for Best Original Song for the film The woman from the hotel by Léa Pool. At the same time, she wrote and composed her first solo album with Jean Millaire; titled The one who goesthe record enjoyed resounding success here and in France (more than 200,000 copies sold) and allowed her to win the Félix for Rock Album and Female Performer of the Year at the Adisq Gala in 1987. His songs Wild cats, Impoesia And Soft become essentials of his discography. In 1988, she sang in a duet The eyes of the heart with Gerry Boulet, who is today a classic of Quebec song.

His second solo album As long as there are children (spring 1990) demonstrates his ability to write about social themes with real depth, his impeccable delivery allowing him to convey raw emotions through each song. There are mornings, At the end of the sky, Provocative and his revival of the success of Corbeau Elsewhereare added to his list of successes. The album, certified platinum, as well as the show won four Félix awards in 1991.

Four years later, Marjo returned to the studio to record the album Bohemian. She then launches the tour Marjo sings the blues, in which she performs classics from Billie Holiday, Chuck Berry, Leroy Carr, etc. In 1997, during her performance at the Vieux-Clocher in Sherbrooke, she recorded the album Bootleg Blues.

She would only resume writing original songs several years later, with the release of Turquoise, at the end of 2005. She was then offered a concept for her next record: duets with male performers. With the complicity of Martin Deschamps, Les Respectable, Jonathan Painchaud, Yann Perreau, Gilles Vigneault, Richard Séguin and Gregory Charles, to name just a few, she published Marjo and her menVolume 1 And 2 a few months apart, at the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010.

Since then, the singer has performed tirelessly in concerts across Quebec. She was also a judge on the show The voice during the 2022-2023 season and inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame on October 11, 2023.

Marjo has been at the helm of her own brand and company since 2014. A free spirit, feminist without openly claiming it, Marjo has helped women of an entire generation to take responsibility and emancipate themselves. As an author and composer, she has constantly sought to broaden the horizons of her art by experimenting with different genres while maintaining a solid rock foundation. She left an indelible mark on Quebec musical history. Its influence is not limited to the borders of Quebec; she also left her mark on Canadian musical history and opened the way for many artists such as Anik Jean, Marie-Chantal Toupin and Marie-Mai. His commitment to authenticity, power and emotion in music and lyrics has left a lasting legacy for generations to come.

She embodies the spirit of rock, quite simply.

About the National Day Artisan Prize

Launched in 2009, the Artisan de la Fête nationale prize annually rewards an individual or group who, through their action, contributes to the influence of national pride. To date, several big names from Quebec have been rewarded, including Normand Brathwaite, Gilles Vigneault, Paul Piché, André Marchand, Gervais Lessard, Yves Lambert, Les Cowboys Fringants, Ginette Reno, Robert Charlebois, Judi Richards, Yvon Deschamps, Diane Dufresne and Beau Dommage.

The regional artisan prize is also awarded in ten regions of Quebec during the launches to highlight the invaluable contribution of the organizers and volunteers who, each year, several thousand work to make the National Day a success.

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