With an unerring sense of rhythm for every turn of phrase and ornament, she navigates through the Villa-Lobos and the five Tangos para Piano by Juan José Castro, finishing with a brilliant performance of Festiva by José Maria Vitler. It’s a terrific recording with a tremendous amount of energy, humour and astonishing talent.
- The Whole Note, on "Villa-Lobos / Castro"
Through her four albums and extensive performance schedule across North America, Canadian pianist and doctoral candidate Andree-Ann Deschenes is recognized as one of the world’s foremost advocates of the Latin American piano repertoire. For her efforts, The Whole Note celebrates her as a “very gifted pianist” with “a tremendous amount of energy, humour and astonishing talent”, while her career has gained the attention of outlets such as The Villa-Lobos Magazine, Classical Post, MainlyPiano, and Voyage LA.
Characterized by its catchy melodicism and evocative chromaticism, the music of Latin America has held a special reverence in Deschenes’ heart, beginning with her pursuit of a master’s degree in Afro-Latin music. “Some of history’s most brilliant composers,” Deschenes says, “come from Latin America, but the average audience has never heard of them or their work. My mission is to create a resurgence for this music, which deserves to hold equal weight with more familiar European composers in the canon.”
At the age of 30, Deschenes’ recording career is formidable, with an output as decorated as it is prolific. All of her first three albums–Cervantes, Lecuona & Nazareth (2014), Milhaud & Ginastera (2016), and Villa Lobos & Castro (2017)–were each awarded a Silver Medal for Outstanding Achievement by the Global Music Awards. Praise in the media comes from the blog Music for Several Instruments, who remarked that Deschenes “puts across the regional Brazilian folkloric flavour with cool clarity,” as well as The Whole Note, who celebrated her third album, Villa Lobos / Castro, as “a rich program revealing… skill and artistic mastery.”
Further recognition has come for her most recent album, The Ovalle Project (2018), a comprehensive two-disc record that revives the work of late Brazilian composer Jayme Ovalle—as of now the only commercially available recording of his piano works. In reviewing the album, Classical Post called Deschenes “the perfect person to take on [Ovalle’s music] and bring life back into his works,” while Mainly Piano remarked that “the variety in the moods, intensity and tonal colors is vast [in The Ovalle Project], and Ms. Deschenes has taken the time and attention as well as research to get inside of the music.”
Based in Los Angeles, Deschenes maintains an active lecture and performance schedule. A three-time semi-finalist for The American Prize, she currently serves on faculty for the California School of the Arts, Los Angeles.
Her education includes a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Claremont Graduate University, a Master of Music degree in Afro-Latin music from California State University Los Angeles, and an Advanced Diploma in Jazz from Toronto’s Humber College. She is grateful to her pedagogues, Dr. Jenny Soonjin Kim, Dr. Paul De Castro, Dave Restivo, David Virelles, Linda Brady, Yvan Leduc, and Elisa Chaput. Deschenes’ albums can be found on all major retail and streaming platforms.