JPR Live Session: Jessica Fichot Band

May 25, 2016

Jessica Fichot is a lot like her hometown of Paris: French at heart, but with a soul that's truly international. Drawing from her multi-ethnic French / Chinese / American upbringing, her music fuses styles and languages, taking the listener on a twisting journey out of the French chanson tradition, into the lands of gypsy jazz, Chinese 1940's swing, international folk, and into the wilderness of her imagination. She has performed packed venues in France, China, Spain, Mexico, Canada and across the U.S - backed by her fiery band (clarinet/sax, upright bass, drums and guitar), and armed with her accordion, toy piano and multilingual vocals.

Jessica Fichot really has no choice but to create diverse art. Born in Upstate New York to a Chinese mother and French father, she spent her youth in France. After earning a degree in audio engineering in Paris, she enrolled in Boston's prestigious Berklee College of Music to study songwriting. While in Boston, she penned countless children’s songs for musical theater and later, for educational programs. Over a hundred of her songs are published as part of ESL programs published in over a dozen countries.

Relocating to Los Angeles, she embraced her international influences and independently released her critically acclaimed 2007 debut album, Le Chemin, garnering the stamp of approval from tastemakers such as LA Weekly, San Francisco Chronicle, and KCRW – and licensing a few songs in major movies and TV shows on the way. In her new EP Dear Shanghai, Fichot departs from her trademark French chanson style and takes the listener to 1940s Shanghai, with a work entirely sung in Mandarin Chinese and celebrating her mother’s hometown. The multicultural musician covers jazzy numbers, exotic rumbas, a couple of original songs, as well as a pop classic from Hong Kong - bringing a fresh, modern take on musical gems spotlighting the golden era of the city. Fichot seamlessly shifts between languages and styles artfully, crafting an intriguing journey that beckons listeners to come back.