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Yanick Etienne: Bio

Yanick Etienne’s Bio
Yanick was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and came to the U.S. with her family in 1970. She is from a very artistic family: Two of her brothers are musicians, her younger sister is a dancer and a talented vocalist in her own right. She admits to getting her vocal abilities from her mother who loved to sing as a young girl and was often complimented on her beautiful voice.

Yanick Etienne is no stranger to the music scene. The attractive vocalist started singing professionally since 1979. Her singing style combines, among others, Jazz, Soul and Caribbean flavors to season a completely unique sound: Her own. She has extensive vocal experience as a studio musician. She has recorded with a wide-range of renowned worldwide artists. Some of her earlier credits include songs such as “Toi” recorded with Haitian crooner, Jose Tavernier, “Caribbean Girls” with Austin Tuitt from Trinidad, “Mirage” with Yvon Andre (Kapi) of Tabou Combo. She has done lead and back-up vocals on Elite Orchestra and Dife/Electric Konpa albums. In 1990, she recorded background vocal tracks for the Italian Rock & Roll group Rocking Chairs on their album “No Sad Goodbyes.” She also sang on Roxy Music’s album “Avalon,” the Bryan Ferry’s 1982 hit single that elevated Yanick’s name to the international music charts. Since that time, she has recorded more albums with Ferry including “Boys and Girls,” “Bete Noire,” “Mamouna,” and “39 Steps.” In the summer of 1988, Yanick joined Ferry on his world tour which included concert stops in the U.S., Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and Europe. Yanick’s performances were singled-out for rave reviews by the world’s most prominent newspapers and magazines including the New York Post, Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Times, The Hollywood Reporter, and Japan Times. Her vocal performances in “Avalon,” on the 1988-89 World Tour were described as “spine-tingling, riveting, soulful, angelic, pure poetry, gospel-like, silky.” The website said of Yanick Etienne: “So we could all use a few seconds, at least, of Bryan Ferry’s long-time back-up singer. Except calling the Haitian angel a back-up singer is like calling Earth’s Moon a back-up celestial object.” In March 1989 after her return from the tour, she started preparations on her solo career. She revealed “I believe that all the studio works that I’ve done in the past have helped to prepare me for my debut album ‘Dernst Emile Presents: Yanick Etienne.’” Indeed, the maturity that she has developed as a vocalist came through in her performance on that album. That maturity is not only reflected in her superb vocals but she also wrote or co-wrote, with her husband and producer Dernst Emile, many of the songs on the album which features her signature hit “Mistè Damou.” Her son, Dernst Emile II (Dee), who was 4 years old at the time, superbly co-produced.

Yanick feels strongly about making her work the best that it can be. “I can’t stand sloppiness in music,” she says vehemently. In fact, some of her favorite artists are among the best in the recording industry. Some of the people who’ve influenced her singing style are Sarah Vaughan, Jon Lucien, Stevie Wonder, Nancy Wilson, Stephanie Mills, Al Jarreau, Patti LaBelle, Luther Vandross, to name a few.

Since the release of her first album, she has made several TV and Radio appearances on HTN in Miami, FL, Metro Magazine TV and Moment Creole on WLIB radio in New York. In addition she has also been featured in countless newspaper and magazine articles. In July 1992, after granting an interview to World Music radio New York International, program director Al Angeloro was so taken by her talent and personality, he asked her to join the team as an on-air Disk Jockey. In March 1993 she was nominated Best New Artist at the Third Annual Caribbean Music Awards. Her category was presented by none other than Jon Lucien. In June 1993, she guest-starred in Jazz Night at Café Arielle-Theatre Row along with her husband Dernst Emile and their son Dee. In August 1993, she headlined “In Concert” at Medgar Evers College. By all accounts, Yanick’s first promotional concert of her first album was a tremendous success.

November 23rd 1994, six years after The World Tour, she took the stage with Bryan Ferry once again as a special guest at The Beacon Theater in New York for a special performance of “Avalon.” On May 26, 1995, Yanick was elated when she performed in The General Assembly Hall at the United Nations’ 50th Anniversary Celebration. On July 29th 1995, she went home to Haïti to perform for the first time at the International Roots Festival (Bouyon Rasin).

In the summer of 2001, Yanick Etienne reunited once more with Bryan Ferry, this time for the “Roxy Music Reunion Tour.” The concert stops in the U.S. included 2 nights at New York’s Madison Square Garden with performances also in Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Other stops included Vancouver, British Columbia, Manchester, Glasgow and London.

In September 2004, her second cd release “Love Songs for You” hit the U.S. market and received several well-deserved acclaims. Recorded, mixed, arranged and produced by her, then 19 years old son (Dee), Yanick has come full circle. Her tribute to poetess extraordinaire Maya Angelou with the song “Maya” and her Kreyol interpretation of Minnie Riperton’s “Loving You” are just spectacular. That album serves a menu of songs in English and her native Kreyol language, which brings together a tasty recipe of the two cultures.

Yanick Etienne has not stopped singing. While raising two children, now grown, she has performed throughout the region where she lives and her native country, Haiti. More recently, she sang to a full house at Le Chat Noir, the premiere jazz club in Miami and at the opulent Miramar Cultural Center. She is available for public and house concerts, studio work, clubs and private dates. She now has an extensive body of works ready to be released.