Jaochim "Joe" Amouzou was born in Togo, West Africa, into a very musical family. His father, Louis, was a renowned folk singer, whose songs remain part of the cultural fabric of the country. His mother was an accomplished soprano in a well-known local choir. Joe's career in music began in his teens as a radio, television and concert singer and musician.
Since immigrating to Canada in the early 1980s, Joachim continued to entertain in a wide variety of venues, singing and playing guitar, bass, electric keyboard, piano and percussion instruments. His repertoire includes Caribbean, African, Reggae, and French music, which he performs solo or with groups. Joe is a prolific song writer, with lyrics written in French, English, Mina and Ewe languages.
The new millennium found Joe writing songs and making his first CD, 'Singing for Love', released in 2004 and which spanned rhythm and blues, jazz, African folk, and reggae. His debut album expressed political awareness and the human experience…. particularly love. Upon release of his album, Joe was interviewed by CBC and a song, 'Help Me Love You' was selected for the movie documentary, 'Territoire De L'Autre', which was broadcast in May 2004.
While promoting his first CD, Joe traveled to Europe and Africa and did radio and TV shows on both continents with notable music and media personalities, including Manu Dibango. He then traveled to Taiwan and performed in three major concerts with his brother Richard's band 'Jazz Afric'.
Upon returning to Canada, Joachim continued to perform, notably at a fundraiser for Darfur and Culturama at Vancouver's Vogue Theatre. He continued to write and record songs, mainly in the genre of Afro-Jazz fusion. The fruit of two years of steady effort and devotion is a second album, 'Mist of Charms', released in October 2006. The CD is high-energy and danceable… fraught with powerful and delicious rhythm. With the release of this album, Joe Amouzou has emerged as a leading African Canadian composer and performer.
Joe has appeared on numerous stages in the Lower Mainland, notably an acoustic solo concert at the Reach Gallery-Museum in Abbotsford and with his band, 'The Safari League' at the Caribbean Day Festival in North Vancouver. During the 2010 Winter Olympics, Joe performed with various Canadian artists on the big stage at Granville Island; with the Safari League, he also performed at the French and CBC Pavilions. At the Stephen Lewis fundraiser in Richmond, Joe and the Safari League played for the Go-Go Grandmothers, and October 2011 saw Joe and the Safari League as the main act at University of the Fraser Valley.
Joe returned to the studio to record his third CD release, 'Ocean of Symphonies (Ocean de Symphonies)' in July 2009. This double CD showcases various musical styles in the genre of Afro-Jazz fusion, and includes reggae and world music tracks. He has created a unique fusion of world, reggae and jazz styles which will appeal to a diverse and discerning musical audience.
Joe was interviewed on a CBC television broadcast about the lack of support to BC artists given by federal and provincial governments in the summer of 2011, which aired on the evening news.
Most recently, Joe has been working with a Togolese drumming troupe, performing mainly at the Rich Gallery in Abbotsford with guest appearances and drum circles throughout the BC Lower Mainland. He also conducts drum workshops, assembles and finishes drums from West Africa.
Thanks and Salut!