One of the best things about my career is the diversity it affords. As I reflect on this past year, I realize that my work has varied greatly throughout. From releasing my debut CD, to solo shows, wedding ceremonies & receptions, to large and small ensembles, choirs & orchestras and everything else in-between I am always up to something. On top of all that, one cannot overlook all the business & marketing side that needs my attention too! Lately, my harp and I are out of the house about 3-5 times a week for performances and I am constantly working on new and exciting projects. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by all there is to keep on top of, but in these moments of reflection I am reminded of how fortunate I am to be doing what I love.
This Saturday marks the end of this year’s wedding season and I would like to take the time to share with you some of my most memorable experiences from this year’s nuptials.
A highlight for me was working with so many fabulous couples. The pictures below are from one of my favourite weddings this year, mostly because of Angie, AN amazingly sweet bride who wedded her partner Adam at the Vancouver Art Gallery. This ended up being the perfect setting for a modern and exquisite couple.
Here is the lovely couple walking out:
This couple did a great job with their decor, they hired fabulous people and it was very cool to watch their guests move around in the unique space.
I also had many requests for songs to play on the harp this year. Here is a list of my Top 5 well-known favourites for a live wedding playlist:
1. Can’t Help Falling In Love – Elvis
2. Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles
3. What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
4. Just the Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra
5. Unchained Melody – Elvis
These are my top 5 favourite things about the weddings I play at:
1. When everyone is happy. Yes, it’s simple but true! It is so easy for me to see when people are happy and supportive and I love it when they are.
2. When, at the end of the aisle, the father hugs his daughter and then the groom. It is such a sweet moment.
3. When the couple has hired a supportive and experienced team of vendors. Every moment is seamless, effortless and executed the way it was planned.
4. When couples write their own vows. I know this is not everyone’s cup of tea but those are the ones that I love the most as they are so unique and special.
5. When the couple incorporates special details. This can be anything from a familial or cultural tradition, to lighting a candle to symbolize the presence of those who could not attend. These are the moments and touches that make the day unique and meaningful.
I started playing weddings at 13 years old and I believe I have played around 800 to date. As you can imagine, I now have quite a few stories as a result! So many celebrations have been incredibly beautiful and some have made last impressions for all kinds of reasons.
I have started a list of don’t’s which I am calling “Etiquette by Janelle.” Below are the first 10 and after that, I will be posting a new one to the list every Friday on my Facebook and Twitter. Each post will be accompanied by the hashtag: #EtiquettebyJanelle. These posts are meant to be entertaining, tongue-in-cheek and perhaps some readers will learn a valuable lesson or two and avoid any potential aftermath!
Here are the first 10 “Etiquette by Janelle” tips:
No 1. Always practice walking in your gown before the wedding day. You don’t want to look or feel uncomfortable.
No 2. If I am given a three page itinerary, just for myself when I show up, you’ve gone too far with the micro-managing.
No 3. If I am wearing my sunglasses outside, it’s because I need to see my strings and music. Don’t worry, it won’t effect anything!
No 4. If it rains, I absolutely cannot have my harp outside without adequate cover. And no, a tiny umbrella just won’t work.
No 5. Take the plastic off the flowers before you walk down the aisle.
No 6. The base of my harp is not a stool to elevate yourself to get a picture.
No 7. Do research on your vendors so you can have peace of mind and be sure that you can fully revel in your day without worrying.
No 8. Touching or testing out my harp is not ok just because I had to step away for two minutes.
No 9. My harp column is probably the worst place in the whole venue to put down your drink.
No 10. Last but not least, this day is a big one. Enjoy it!
Tune in to my social media to hear more tips from a Vancouver harpist!
Thank you for reading my blog!
All photographs on this blog post taken by: Thomasz Wagner.
Hello to all my wonderful, loyal fans out there and also to those of you who are new to my site! I’m happy you are spending a few minutes to pop by and thanks very much for showing an interest in my exciting new debut album. I am officially releasing the CD on October 8th, which is coming up quickly, so remember to preorder your very own copy today!
On Monday, I will be a guest on the TV & radio stations listed below. For all the latest updates, stay tuned to my social media pages.Here are the links to those interviewing me:
Jewel 101 Radio, CTV Morning News Winnipeg, CBC Radio-Canada Television, 680 CJOB, CBC Radio-Canada
On Tuesday, I will be interviewed by none other than Winnipeg’s acclaimed radio host, Ace Burpee!
Thank you and enjoy!
It is hard to believe but after years of playing the harp, I am thrilled to say that I am releasing an album! I have been so honoured to work on other people’s CDs and to have an amazing performance career so far and now it is time for a new celebration. I can now offer the people who have supported me and a whole new group of listeners, my own album.
Here is the cover of it:
I named the album These Roads because I feel that this album is an account of the many roads I have travelled throughout my life. I grew up on Manitoban country roads and I have traveled city roads as well as many around the world. All of these experiences have influenced me, my music and my stories thus creating my debut album.
One of the reasons why I am so excited about this album is because I had such wonderful people on my side. It began with incredible support from my family, my colleagues and my teachers. Then, I was connected with amazing songwriters, especially my amazing co-writer, Jaylene Johnson. I am so lucky that she and I have always been on the same page. We connected from the beginning. When you click with someone and open yourself up to the possibilities and vulnerability of songwriting, beautiful music can happen.
Next, I met up with the man who really understand what I wanted and helped me to create such an amazing product. Stephen Fisk recorded, mixed, assisted production, played and sang on the album. How awesome is that? Everything he did impressed me and I am so lucky that he jumped right in and gave it his all.
Though there have been so many exciting things surrounding this, one of the things that I am most looking forward to is my album release concert at the West End Cultural Centre!
Here is the poster with all the information:
I am also incredibly excited about all of the amazing publicity I have been getting with this album release! Here is a taste of the material that the press is getting:
Manitoba Harpist and Farmer Ploughing Ahead with her Musical Dreams
CD Release Set for Wednesday October 8 at the West End Cultural Centre. She’s a Manitoba farmer who also happens to be a classically trained harpist. Now, Janelle Nadeau is ‘combining’ her interests, releasing her debut CD These Roads at the West End Cultural Centre on Wednesday October 8, 2014.
What: Janelle Nadeau’s These Roads CD Release Concert
When: 8 p.m., Wednesday October 8, 2014 (doors at 7:15 p.m.)
Where: West End Cultural Centre, 586 Ellice Avenue, Winnipeg, MB
Tickets: $25 advance l $30 door. Tickets available at the West End Cultural Centre, Music Trader, the Winnipeg Folk Festival Music Store or Ticketmaster athttp://goo.gl/s08JWN
It’s an interesting juxtaposition. In the summer months, the 28-year-old Manitoban operates huge farm machinery, working the fields as a combine and swather operator at her family’s grain farm in Fannystelle, about 50 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg.
For the remainder of the year, Janelle lives and works in Vancouver as a classically-trained harpist.
Janelle does not just play the classical harp, but Celtic and electric harp as well.”It weighs about 90 pounds with the case and dolly,” says Janelle of her six-foot high pedal harp. She herself weighs only 120 pounds but manages to lug her instrument around with ease.
Janelle’s October 8 concert will feature a blend of Spanish tunes, Celtic, blues, country, popular and original music. This performance promises to be a toe-tapping, lively type of show, paired with introspective moments.
“This will be much different than a typical harp concert,” explains Janelle. “The music selection is varied and is not made up of only slow music.”
Janelle will also showcase her vocal abilities, with her singing a perfect complement to her proficient playing.
Ian Mackie (drum/percussion) and Stephen Fisk (guitar/bass/vocals) will accompany Janelle – a fitting selection as Fisk also produced and recorded the album.
Janelle is especially excited to debut the original songs she wrote for the album, many of which were co-written with local songwriter and music heavyweight Jaylene Johnson. For instance, one of the songs, Grant Us Pardon, was influenced by Janelle’s 2014 visit to Rwanda. At an orphanage where she volunteered, Janelle met with genocide victims, and also had a chance to meet with an African father who was forced into war. “He had a wife and eight kids. He had to do the killing in order to guarantee the safety of his own family. That’s what the song Grant Us Pardon is about,” says Janelle. “Who are we to judge, when we don’t know everything about a situation? Sometimes people are forced to make decisions that are extremely difficult. At the end of the day, what is needed is forgiveness.”
While this is Janelle’s first CD, she is already an accomplished musician. In 2008, Janelle graduated from the Harp Performance Program at the University of British Columbia. She has been touring western Canada and the Yukon for the last eight years with the acclaimed music group Winter Harp, which performs Celtic, medieval, and classical music. She has toured with the Canada National Youth Orchestra, Home Routes and Manitoba Arts Council. She plays regularly with the Vancouver Opera and has played in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and she has even backed up Kanye West during a Vancouver performance.
Janelle’s interesting musical history has earned her the respect, and attention of others. Winnipeg radio host Ace Burpee (Virgin Radio 103) recently named Janelle one of 100 Most Fascinating Manitobans of 2013 (Janelle was #51 to be precise).
Janelle was also selected as one of five finalists in the On the Coast region of CBC Radio’s Searchlight contest with her song Leavin’ (co-written withJaylene Johnson and Arun Chaturvedi).
For more information, please visit www.janellenadeau.com or contact publicist Janelle Johnson at [email protected] or 204.330.0853.
Thank you so much to everyone for all of your amazing support and I am so looking forward to sharing this with you! To purchase my album, please email me directly at: [email protected]. Online purchases soon to come!
In the summer, I set my alarm for 4:30AM to get up and get ready for a photo shoot. Briar from Epic Events asked me to be a part of the shoot for a feature in the beautiful Heirloom Magazine. As we swatted away mosquitos in the early morning and stepped on dewy grass, the sun began to rise and with the stunning decorations and flowers, the vision of the photo shoot started to unfold. A few months later, and we were given this beautiful spread from the magazine:
I learned a few new design tricks that day:
– Artichokes look beautiful in bouquets.
– A black sequined table cloth can add an understated bit of glamour to a rustic event.
– I love lanterns.
– Hanging flowers are just so beautiful.
– Take the hair elastic off your wrist before a photo shoot.
Now for the beautiful video that Modern Romance Productions put together featuring my song that I cowrote and recorded, “Caught in Between”:
I know I have said this before in my blogs, but sometimes I pinch myself because of the great job I have. Do not get me wrong, even though everything looks so elegant and beautiful, this job is very demanding and has its downfalls. I am often stressed and overwhelmed with what has yet to happen and what isn’t happening. But at the end of the day, I do what I love. Nothing beats a beautiful Vancouver wedding except a beautiful Vancouver wedding with a harpist… : )
Where does time go?
Each year the tour starts again and I ask myself that very simple question. That question is magnified when looked at it through the scope of 20 years which is how long Winter Harp has been around. Director and creator, Lori Pappajohn, who is a dear friend and colleague of mine, celebrated this incredible milestone this year. When she asked me to join Winter Harp eight years ago, the magnitude of being asked to play in such a fantastic group had not yet hit me. Today, I feel fortunate to play in a group that tours and touches thousands of people’s lives every year. I also feel that much of my career as a harpist and being a Vancouver based musician can be credited to my dear friend, Lori Pappajohn.
These two videos give a little example of the magic and beauty created by Winter Harp:
From left, the musicians that are playing on stage: Lauri Lyster (percussion), myself (classical harp), Kim Robertson (Celtic Harp), Lori Pappajohn (Celtic Harp).
From left, the musicians that are playing on stage: Patrick Ball (wire strung harp), myself (classical harp), Kim Robertson (Celtic harp), Lori Pappajohn (Celtic harp).
Throughout the years that I have been with Winter Harp, the group has always had small changes in the musicians on stage which keeps it fresh and fun for both the musicians and the audience. Two years ago, a life long dream of mine came true when Kim Robertson joined the group. I wrote my feelings about this on my Facebook Music Page this past December:
“At 3 years old, I told my parents that I wanted to play the harp. Without knowing where to begin, my mom bought me a CD by Kim Robertson. As time passed by, she become an idol of mine. Twenty four years later, I have had the honour and pleasure of sharing the stage with this incredible woman for two tours. I am so thankful the universe has given me this opportunity and has landed me exactly where I feel I am supposed to be. I will continue to pinch myself as the tour rolls along.”
Happy 2014 to all! I wish you much health, happiness and beautiful music.
One of the great perks of the new and updated website is that people get the chance to see what I do and what I am all about. I have had many people in my life tell me that my personality has come through on the website. I have also had many people whom I have never met say that the website has an inviting feel and that they felt like they got to know me just from reading the pages.
Finding my webpage is actually what brought me and one of my recent clients, Rodrozen Designs together. They recently had a breakfast event where people in their industry were invited into their store; I played and sang as the guests mingled. If you need any kind of design or renovation for your home, office and beyond, these are your guys! They have beautiful art work as well.
I absolutely love performing in this setting. I get to share my singing and the beautiful music of the harp, all while playing a diverse set of music and meeting many new people . I am doing what I love and am so happy that my website is helping to spread the word all around Vancouver! To keep it accessible for everyone I try to incorporate: standards, some pop stuff, a little classical and even some of my own songs. People are always surprised by the versatility of my music and the many places in which I play: events, fundraisers, parties and beyond. They are often taken aback by the fact that I am not a stuffy musician but I bring humour and fun to my gigs.
The wonderful photographer for these shots was Mark Whitehead from gettheshot. He has some amazing photos!
If you know of someone or a company having an event, this kind of music would definitely add that “je ne sais quoi” feel as harp music fills the air! Need a musician for hire?- contact me!
Once upon a time, there was an eleven year old little girl who played her harp at her Aunt and Uncle’s wedding. She then got asked to play at another wedding, then another and soon she found that she was playing at weddings every weekend and she loved it.
Fast-forward 15 years and that little girl is all grown up and is still enjoying playing the harp at beautiful Vancouver weddings.
Here are pictures by the lovely Denise Lin at a recent Vancouver wedding:
Vancouver Wedding Tips:
1. Outdoor weddings: Outdoor weddings are beautiful but one must have a Plan B in case of rain. I will share with you a secret: In all the years of playing at weddings, I have only played at ONE wedding where we got rained out. Maybe I am a bride’s lucky charm! 😉
2. The dress: When a bride-to-be tries on her dress, she should also pause for one moment and figure out if she can comfortably move in it. If there is one day where a girl should be free to throw her arms in the air, jump up in excitement, or wipe a tear from her eye, this is it!
3. Wedding Planner: The wedding is about the couple but the couple would not be the individuals they are if it were not for the love and support of family and friends. If there are enough details, do everyone a favor and get professional help the day of so everyone can relax and enjoy.
4. Hire a harpist!: There are very few instruments that spell “romance” as much as the harp. Treat yourself and your guests to beautiful, live music that will create that unforgettable touch on the day of your dreams.