Q1 2021 Artists Announced!
We are so excited to finally announce the newest round of funded artists in our Q1 2021 lineup. This marks our first full year of funding adventurous music! Our very first funding announcement went out on July 20th, 2020, here we are one year later to the day! We here at the Church are so thankful for this past year of everyone's support--each of the artists today and in past months have been able to push their music further all thanks to each of you and every donated dollar. Without further ado, please check out our newest trio of funded artists below:
Cassie Watson Francillon
Nominated by CJ Boyd
New Orleans harpist Cassie Watson Francillon explores celtic, jazz, classical and experimental music on the harp, having studied under harpists Gabriella Pinto, Brandee Younger, Mia Theodoratus and New Orleans' own Patrice Fisher.
Cassie released her solo album Luna Nuda in 2019. She composes, teaches, and serves on the board of the New Orleans Chapter of the American Harp Society. She was the Assistant Producer of the annual New Orleans Jazz and Pop Harp Weekend for 2018-2019 and is a producer of the Sirens in the Twilight Music Series for women, nonbinary and femmes in music. Cassie has accompanied dynamic local vocalists such as Tank and the Bangas, Mykia Jovan and Julie Odell. She was the principal harpist in Bernard Pearce's 2019 new age opera: The Coronation, debuted at the New Orleans Airlift Music Box Village.
Cassie plays in the futuristic trio Shakespeare & The Blues, with Bryan Webre (Lost Bayou Ramblers) and Cam Smith. Their album e.g.: Rhapsodic was recorded at Mark Bingham’s Nina Hwy Studio in Henderson, LA and is set for release in late 2021 on Nouveau Electric Records. Cassie has played in sessions and live with artists including John Cameron Mitchell, Helen Gillet, Tank and the Bangas, Julie Odell and People Museum. In 2020, Cassie released an acoustic solo album this appears to disappear.
From nominating elder CJ Boyd: "Cassandra is a wonderful harpist living in New Orleans. She mostly plays solo, though she’s also a great improviser in a group setting... New Orleans has a bizarre music scene, and I’ve always thought maybe a uniquely New Orleans artist, even though she’s probably the only black woman in the city playing solo experimental harp. She clearly takes a bit from classical music, and a bit from jazz, but her stuff really sounds nothing like either of those genres, and is uniquely her own. She’s also been getting more into the tech side of recording these last few years, and I’m excited to hear the new album that she’s tracking her self."
Nominated by Karl Hofstetter
Cedric Noel is a songwriter, bassist, collaborator and producer currently based in Tio'tiá:ke/Montréal, Québec, Canada. Since 2010 Noel has released a number of full length albums, EPs and collaborative works which have ranged from melodic pop to ambient to improvisational soundscapes. His most recent releases include 2020’s solo album nothing forever, everything and a pair of well-received singles from his r&b/pop project Special Solace. After spending the past year recording, Noel released a new album, Patterning last December. He’s also spent most of the past year in the studio working on his next project.
Noel has performed at festivals such as POP Montreal, Halifax Pop Explosion, Waking Windows, MEGAPHONO, Kazoo! Fest, Arboretum Festival, and Electric Eclectics. He has also been fortunate enough to share the stage with unique and musically diverse acts such as Mount Eerie, Jessica Pratt, Jeremy Dutcher, S. Carey, the Weather Station and Angelo De Augustine among others.
Other than his solo work Noel has most recently been the bassist for artists such as Ada Lea, Alexia Avina and Year of Glad. In the past he has fronted Fredericton, NB bands Redwood Fields and Sentimentals. In a live setting Noel has been the bassist for acts like Isaac Vallentin, Dana Gavanski, Jon Mckiel and Gianna Lauren among others. He has also found his way into a number of both live and recorded collaborations which include a full-length tape with C N U S, playing bass on two releases with Montréal, QC prog-pop band LAPS, contributing vocals to an EP for Dillon Anthony as well as scoring two short films by director Ryan O'Toole.
From nominating elder Karl Hofstetter: "Cedric is an incredible, prolific songwriter from Montreal. His music is heartfelt and fragile, and comes from a very unique perspective…. He’s a black man living in Canada, born in Belgium to Nigerian parents, his adoptive mother is Belgian, adoptive father is Canadian, and he grew up in Brazil. He’s an amazing person."
(Caroline Davis and Ben Hoffman)
Nominated by Greg Saunier
My Tree is an eclectic musical collaboration that straddles the boundaries of R&B, indie rock, and experimental music. When algorithms are decoding more music into homogeneous playlists, My Tree challenges this norm to bring music and people of disparate worlds together. Press from 2017's full-length release After Glow described the music as "Seductive, interstellar funk” [Okayplayer] and an "experimental blend of indie rock, jazz, funk, and dream pop” [The Deli Magazine] with “the perfect mix of skill and energy to keep you hooked from start to finish" [Earmilk]. Featuring acclaimed alto-saxophonist and flutist Caroline Davis in a distinct role as a vocalist, and keyboardist Ben Hoffmann, this collaboration features songs that seek to uplift, while at the same time pointing to the current challenges we face in the United States. My Tree is the soundtrack for the inevitable ushering in of the new world order.
From nominating Elder Greg Sanier: "...Caroline Davis and Ben Hoffmann made totally amazing DIY r+b / avant jazz / progressive dreamy thing and they can’t find a label because it’s too “in the cracks”. Which is sort of sad because it is extremely enjoyable and obviously a labor of love and immense devotion of time and insane talent."