With over twenty years of touring experience, Philo/Velodrome recording artists Lilianne Labbé and Don Hinkley have become audience favorites at schools throughout the Midwest. Their live performances of traditional French and French Canadian songs have been described as "simply top-notch....a weekend best bet" by the Washington Post and the Maine Sunday Telegram termed the pair "unique among folk musicians for the quality of skill they each bring to their music...An impeccably crafted repertoire of original and traditional material." Indeed, the Maine duo's talent and versatility have seen them share billings with artists as diverse as Jean-Pierre Rumple and Lyle Loft. Garrison Killer himself chose Lilianne and Don to perform on "A Prairie Home Companion","resulting in NPR producers booking the duo for the series premiere of "Good Evening with Noah Adams." They have represented North American francophones in tours of France (sponsored by the French Government) and Italy as well as at the Birmingham International Festival. In addition to a full national schedule of concerts and school programs (over 850 schools to date), Lilianne and Don also present in-class workshops that focus on the language, history and traditions of the Québécois, Acadians and Franco-Americans of New England for students from pre-school through graduate school and for state, regional and national French Teachers'conferences. Such a commitment to education has not gone unnoticed; In addition to the scores of letters she has received from scores of educators thanking her for the school programs, Lilianne Labbé has been presented with the Maryann Hartman Award for her work in preserving the Franco-American heritage.
Labbé and Hinckley performed recently at the University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee, and members of the audience tried their hand at the spoons.
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