Arts Alive with Valério Clio and Gabrielle Shonk in Quebec City

Arts Alive with Valério Clio and Gabrielle Shonk in Quebec City

Main pic: Gabrielle Shonk and Valérie Clio performing at the Morrin Centre in Quebec City as part of the Arts Alive series of events. Friday, 25 September, 2015. Photo credit: Caroline Fournier.

‘Enjoy a soulful evening of R&B and jazz with Valério Clio and Gabrielle Shonk’ claimed the flyer, and not being one to miss an opportunity to see not one but two of the region’s talented singers at the same gig, duly went along.

Both Clio and Shonk have been contestants on ‘La Voix‘ the French-language music reality show aired on the TVA network in Canada.

Valérie Clio was mentored by Quebec icon Ariane Moffatt in the 2013 series of the show.
Gabrielle Shonk appeared in the 2014 series and was coached by Louis-Jean Cormier.

They both have beautiful but very different voices – Clio excels at soul and R&B numbers, whereas Shonk seems more at home singing blues and jazz tracks.

The evening contained almost 20 tunes comprising a mixture of Billie Holiday and Nina Simone covers interspersed with original material written by the singers themselves.

Clio’s material showcased L’Autre Nous her recently released album, Shonk’s will be on her soon to be launched debut album.

Half of the songs performed were in English, the other half in French – a perfect combination for a bilingual audience such as the one here tonight. The gig, hosted in the Morrin Centre’s College Hall, was an intimate affair, Shonk remarking that it was like playing in someone’s ‘front room.’ 

For many, the evening had a relaxed feel. Not an upbeat show at all and a perfect end to a busy week.

Highlights included Valério Clio’s excellent interpretation of Nina Simone’s Sinnerman and Gabrielle Shonk’s original piece Don’t Explain.

The girls did not sing together until the final song, with both having such different voices you can understand why, but their version of Etta James’ At Last proved that sometimes it can work. This time it certainly did and hopefully we’ll see and hear more of them together in the future.

During the evening we caught up with Morrin Centre Executive Director Barry McCullough who told us ‘This is the second part of Arts Alive – a province-wide festival organised by ELAN* that celebrates arts and culture. It’s great to have two fantastic singers on one stage. Our stage here at the Morrin Centre.’

After the show we also go the chance to speak to Gabrielle Shonk and Valérie Clio and here’s what they had to say:

LifeinQuebec.com ‘Gabrielle, how long have you been writing songs and performing?,

Shonk ‘Since around the age of 14. I’m from a musical and artistic family so it seemed a natural thing to do.’

LifeinQuebec.com ‘You mentioned during the performance that you have an album coming out. When will it be available?’

Shonk ‘It’s my debut album, were putting the finishing touches to it, and it should be ready sometime in early 2016.’

LifeinQuebec.com ‘Tell us about La Voix. Did you benefit from it?’

Shonk ‘It was a real rollercoaster of emotion. Millions of people watch that show, so it was great exposure for my work. I’m pleased I did it.’

Clio ‘Got to be seen and show people what I could do. You can’t buy that sort of publicity.’

LifeinQuebec.com ‘You seemed to be enjoying yourself out there on stage tonight. Do you enjoy playing at the Morrin Centre?

Clio ‘It’s a wonderful venue. Beautiful room with great sound. We have a huge amount of talent in this region. It’s unbelievable. There should be more music shows here and it’d be great if the city could help promote this place in some way.’

LifeinQuebec.com ‘Valérie, the album is out and you’re working on a tour. Where and when will that be?’

Clio ‘We’re finalising the dates now and we’ll be going across Canada. So looking forward to getting out there.’

Verdict: When Gabrielle Shonk and Valérie Clio get together to sing blues, soul, and jazz numbers, the end result is well worth the admission money.

*ELAN – English-Language Arts Network

Setlist:

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?, Fleetwood, Mieux que parfait, My Baby Just Cares for Me, Trop tard, Slave Song, My First Blues, M. Le Vendeur, Sinnerman, If Only You’d Let Me, Aimer d’amour, Habit, Don’t Explain, The Other Woman, Donne-moi ta peau, Free, and Soul of a Man

Encore:

At Last

Categories: Arts & Culture

About Author

Andrew Greenfield

Andrew Greenfield moved to Quebec in 2009. He is part of the team responsible for the publishing company behind LifeinQuebec.com and Life in Québec Magazine. He has been involved with online and print media since 2001. He is passionate about cricket, is a qualified coach, and his real ambition is to start a cricket team in Quebec City – something he freely admits is probably beyond him. Follow him on Twitter @GreenfieldAndy

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