Phoebe Legere is an Acadian-Abenaki educator, multi-instrumentalist, artist, and community organizer. She is a Juilliard-trained composer who underlines her philosophical and social message with music. Legere has been a professional musician since age 6 when she began as a sideman with La Famille Legere, a traditional Acadian family band. She was hired to play the organ for her church at age 9. At 16 Legere was signed to Epic Records as a songwriter and at age 17 she was hired as Resident Composer for the Wooster Group.
Phoebe Legere has had numerous academic appointments including Resident Composer at the School of Visual Arts where, in 2003, she invented a musical instrument, the Sneakers of Samothrace, a wearable computer for disabled children. Phoebe Legere sang with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, debuted at Carnegie Hall as a composer, and has played with classical ensembles all over the world. She wrote an epic poem called The Waterclown about water issues and water rights which she sang with the Cleveland Chamber Symphony.
Legere’s work, (with music co-composed by Morgan Powell) was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in Music in 2001. Legere received a NYSCA grant to write The Queen of New England, an experimental multimedia opera about the Massachusetts Native American Holocaust. The opera, produced by Roulette Intermedium in 2002, featured eleven Native Americans and four classical musicians. In 2004, Legere revived her 1992 political play with music: Hello Mme. President about the first female President of Color. The cast included Rock n Roll Hall of Fame great, LaVerne Baker, (with Phoebe Legere playing the First Partner.) In 2013 Legere created an alternative fuel vehicle, a giant Eagle puppet entirely made out of junk. She rode it around Northern California, doing performances on the solar stage, teaching school children about music and the environment. The SHAMANCYCLE was the subject of Legere’s 2015 film The Shamancycle Story. In 2016l her musical “Shakespeare and Elizabeth” had a sold out 4 week run in New York City, and in 2018 Legere received a commission from Dixon Place to write “Speedqueen, the Joe Carstairs Story” with 21 new original songs and music composed by Legere. Legere recorded the cast album LIVE, conducting from the piano and singing, using superb Local 802 players Sean Harkness, Skip Ward and Rob Mitzner. https://vimeo.com/258917682 Speedqueen was sold-out. The film will be release in January 2019.
Legere has recorded and produced seventeen albums. She shoots, directs and edits her own videos. Her video for her award-winning song, Marilyn Monroe, was seen by David Bowie. He invited her to open for him on his 1991 National Sound and Vision Tour.
Legere’s 2017 Americana album Heart of Love went to #18 on the National Roots chart. She has had over a million views of her videos on Youtube. Her new album, celebrating the accordion, is called SQUEEZE ME. The street date for Squeeze Me is October 12.
A walker between worlds, Phoebe Legere is both a Native American and a Mayflower descendent, a Vassar Graduate and New York street kid; Legere, signed as a teen to Epic Records, has, throughout her career been a vital part of the downtown-avant garde music and art world.
Phoebe Legere was Head Writer and Host of the Roulette TV, a show about the experimental art and music. She is an Acker Award Winner and MC of the annual Acker Awards. She has recorded for Mercury Records in England and Epic, Island, Rizzoli, Funtone, ESP Disk and Einstein records in the United States.
A student of Morton Subotnick, Ira Newborn, Rich Shemaria and John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet, Legere is now teaching the children of low-income communities. In 2006 Legere formed the New York Underground Museum and in 2014 she broadened the mission to bring music to underserved children at her 501(c)3 entity Foundation for New American Art. Phoebe is on tour this summer, doing Festivals from the all-woman Ladybug Festival in Delaware, to the Harvest Festival in Maine. A trend-setter and a trail blazer, Legere is a role model for young female musicians everywhere. The Legere family has been active in Labor Politics for over 100 years. My great-grandmother was in the Bread and Roses Strike that changed the world. I wrote a folk song called Camella Teoli about the immigrant 13 year old girl who was scalped by a loom. I sang it at the Bread and Roses Festival last year.
I've been called a "Musical Genius" by Interview Magazine, Where Magazine and Paper Magazine, but when it comes down to it, I am just an American Worker. As my grandfather, legendary Cajun accordion player Joseph-Philippe Legere once said, "Phoebe, stop complaining and start organizing." (of course he said it in French!)
Phoebe’s website is http://phoebelegere.com
“Phoebe Legere is the female Frank Zappa.” - Roman Kozack, Billboard Magazine
"She is an American original, she's fun, she's funny, she's smart, but the main thing about her is SHE’S GOOD" - Studs Terkel, National Public Radio
“Legere plays the piano with enormous authori-ty in a style that encompasses Chopin, blues, ragtime, bebop and beyond, and she brings to her vocal delivery a four-octave range, and an extraordinary palette of tonal color and meticu-lous phrasing.” – Procter Thomas Lippincott , The New York Times
I can sight read anything and transpose instantly in any key. I have an enormous range and can imitate any female singer. I welcome sideman work of ALL kinds on accordion, piano to backup singing - from Broadway shows to touring bands. I can harmonize anything instantly. I have a top of the line NORD and KORG fully loaded with all modern synth sounds.
I can play it all: Blues and New Orleans piano, Cajun accordion and Jazz from trad to swing to bebop to smooth. I have played background piano at corporate events, weddings and bar mitzvahs wearing a tuxedo...I have sung with Peter Duchin, played for the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts... https://soundcloud.com/ladivinelegere/nancy
I read music extremely well, both notation and chord charts.
I have a prodigious memory and know over 1000 songs from the American standard jazz repertoire. I am a Juilliard-trained composer and have scored many films, games and TV shows. I can sing in any style from low-down blues to cabaret to rock to folk. I am fluent in French, excellent in Italian and OK in German and Spanish and can speak and understand Mandarin Chinese. I sing in all these languages.
I have an insatiable appetite for sound...I have done solo shows at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center - check out my rave reviews www.phoebelegere.com I have been called "The Greatest Entertainer in the World" I was signed to Epic Records as a teenager. I toured with David Bowie - I can play all styles of pop, hip-hop and dance. I am currently a sideman with a popular gypsy jazz band in Ithaca that plays the music of Django and his circle. I was the First Runner Up in the Branson, Missouri “America’s Hottest Accordionist” contest. CBS Sunday Morning covered the contest. The judge was Myron Floren.
I am a born educator. I teach voice, accordion and piano. I’ve been lucky enough to play a number of my songs in movies and TV - https://soundcloud.com/phoebelegere/acadie - an original song that will be in a movie about St. Barts coming out this year, to my college hit, my original song Marilyn, that in used by Island Pictures https://soundcloud.com/phoebelegere/marilyn My song Hip Hop Frog was used by Lena Dunham for her HBO production last year. I wrote a song called I Will Wait that was a huge international smash hit for Kelly Chan, the biggest Canto pop artist in the world. (Sony) and my song Amazing Love went to number 30 on the Hot AC chart. https://soundcloud.com/phoebelegere/amazing-love
Dae Bennett sang with me on my original song “Men from the Boys” ttps://soundcloud.com/phoebelegere/men-from-boys-16bit-mstrd-w1
I have accompanied Billy Joel and Steve Martin, I have sung with Joni Mitchell, I have toured with David Bowie, I have performed at festivals with John Hartford, Rufus Thomas, Don Cherry and worked for years with the late Laverne Baker. My all-woman virtuoso band Cajun Joyride is currently on tour.