Trinidadian Steelpan Performer Josanne Francis To Receive the Vanguard Award

Josanne Francis

Institute of Caribbean Studies

Release Date

Monday, November 14, 2022


The CARAH Awards is presented by the Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS), the leading Caribbean-American advocacy organization responsible for securing Presidential Proclamation of June as National Caribbean American Heritage Month. The prestigious honors recognize the contributions and accomplishments of Caribbean leaders in various fields while celebrating Caribbean pride and the great promise of Caribbean immigrants to America and the world.

Francis is set to receive a Vanguard Award at this years Caribbean American Heritage (CARAH) Awards. Born and raised in the twin-island Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, Josanne Francis is an internationally known steelpan performer and music educator. Her music delivers that special 'extra' that separates her from even the greats, and catapults listeners into a unique and exceptional place.

Josanne Francis

With hands that seem to float like the wings of a butterfly with a 'wand-like' touch, her music is not devoid of power when needed. Ms. Francis' music blends together and draws influences from traditional Calypso music, Jazz, Indian, Funk, Rock, and Classical music- a unique mix which is not typical for the instrument. Josanne has performed at venues such as the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and Strathmore Music Center; and has appeared as a guest artist at festivals and universities across the United States and internationally, including the San Juan Conservatory of Music, San Juan Puerto Rico and the Port-au-Prince International Jazz Festival, Haiti.

Josanne served as one of 6 Artists in Residence at Strathmore for the 2017-2018 season. She currently runs her very own educational steelpan program Steel on Wheels. Francis attended the University of Southern Mississippi where she gained her Bachelor of Music Education, she also attended the Northern Illinois University where she got her Master of Music, and she is currently pursuing a

Ph. D in Music Education at the University of Maryland.

The 29th staging of the CARAH Awards will return to its in-person format this year at the JW Marriott in Washington DC on Friday, November 18, 2022.  In 2020 and 2021, the CARAH Awards were held virtually as the world grappled with the novel coronavirus.

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