Janysett McPherson

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Janysett was born in Guantanamo in Cuba in 1979. She discovered the piano at the age of five, and started classical piano studies two years later with Maria Caridad Borges, followed by Francisco Gadner who remained her teacher until 1992 when she was awarded third prize in the national piano competition.

She entered the National Art School of Havana aged 14, where she met some of Cuba’s finest musicians, including César « Pupi » Pedroso, Mayito Rivera, Isaac Delgado, Alain Pérez, Paulo Fernandez Gallo, Ivan Melon Lewis, Yosvani Terry … her first major collaboration was with Alain Pérez, when she was just 16. Janysett’s performance was hailed by Chucho Valdès, who saw promising young talent.

The following year Janysett joined the group « Piel Morena » and was also appointed musical director for the « La Faràndula » orchestra. She performed with both groups in a number of appearances on Cuban television.

When she was 18 years old, her growing notoriety earned her a place in Cuba’s biggest all-female orchestra “Anacaona”, a national institution founded by the Castro sisters in 1932. She started out as pianist, singer and arranger before being entrusted with the musical direction. For the next four years, Janysett completed tour upon tour, taking her all over Latin America, as well as the U.S., China and Europe., Anacaona paid tribute to Janysett’s impact on the group by naming their latest album after one of her compositions “No lo Peudo Evitar”

Janysett went on to work with a whole host of Cuban artists, performing on stage, on tour, and in the recording studio, collaborating with the likes of Omara Portuondo, Joaquin Betancourt, Manolito Simonet, Pedrito Calvo, Soledad Delgado, Celia Cruz, Jose Alberto « El Canario », Daniela Mercury, Miles Pena, El Gran Combo de Puertorico, José Luis Cortés. In France she worked alongside Jérôme Savary in « Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme » at Paris’ Palais de Chaillot. 

In 2002 she was awarded the “Adolfo Guzman” prize (Cuba’s national music awards) for ‘best female singer’ and ‘composer of the year’.

In 2003 she was asked to move to Monte Carlo where she worked as pianist, singer, dancer, arranger and musical director for the shows ‘Monte Carlo Folies’ and ‘Let’s be Wild’ at Monte Carlo’s Cabaret du Casino and Sporting Club.

It was during her time in France that she met the drummer (and her future husband) Dominique Viccaro; he helped broaden her musical horizons, and develop her jazz acumen. She decided to make France her home; she got married, and took a brief break from music to have a child. She then began working on her debut solo album, meeting and working with some great musicians along the way: Andy Narell, Hadrien Feraud, Loïc Ponthieux, Linley Marthe … 

By 2010 her album was ready to record, and this was when she met her producer Yves Chamberland (music producer to, amongst others, Henri Salvador, Michel Petrucciani, Richard Galliano, Nina Simone… and former artistic director for Dreyfus Jazz).

«Très Almas » was recorded in 2011 and features performances from Didier Lockwood, Andy Narell, Bernard Arcadio, Nicolas Folmer, Michel Alibo, Stéphane Guillaume, Olivier Louvel, Thierry Fanfant, Hadrien Feraud … to name but a few. The album was released late November 2011 under the record label « Cristal Records».