Josanne Francis is an exceptionally talented pannist (steelpan musician) and arranger, who is evidently committed to demonstrating the profundity and versatility of the steelpan- an instrument that is too often misconstrued and/or seen as a novelty.
Josanne began playing the steelpan at the age of 9 and has since placed in several competitions in her home country of Trinidad and Tobago, including the Music Festival Solo Steelpan competition and the Scholarship Competition of Talented Teens. As a High School student, she was awarded the Myrna Huggins Wood House Memorial Award for excellence in music by St. Joseph’s Convent, Port-of- Spain.
After completing a CAPE (Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination) Diploma, Josanne moved on to study percussion at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. After graduating from USM, Josanne went on to study steelpan at the Masters’ level with Liam Teague, at the Northern Illinois University (NIU). While at NIU, Josanne emerged as winner of the 2013-14 Concerto Competition as well as the 2014 American Protégé International Concerto Competition (a first for the instrument). Winning the latter also led to performing in a recital at Carnegie Hall, making her the first steelpan soloist to perform at the venue.
Josanne has served as guest artist at steelpan festivals and schools such as the Humboldt State University and has been the subject of several in print and online articles and interviews.
Currently, Josanne resides in Prince George’s County, Maryland and serves as the Artistic Director of the Cultural Academy for Excellence, where she directs an arts-based After-school and Saturday Academy that uses the steelpan as a basis for all instruction. She performs regularly at private events and appears with ensembles in the greater DC metropolitan area.