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FINDING COURAGE: Music P.E.I. nominee Jenni Roberge shares her story

Jenni Roberge, lead singer of Jenni & The Hummingbird, is excited about being part of 2019 Credit Union Music P.E.I. Week. She’s up for six awards.
Jenni Roberge, lead singer of Jenni & The Hummingbird, is excited about being part of 2019 Credit Union Music P.E.I. Week. She’s up for six awards. - Sally Cole

It’s been a long road for Jenni Roberge to reach her dreams.

And now they’re coming true.

The lead singer of Jenni & The Hummingbird recently released her first CD, “Your Masterpiece”.

She was rewarded with six Music P.E.I. nominations.

And this week she will perform at two concerts during 2019 Credit Union Music P.E.I. Week.

“I’m really excited and really happy. I just want to make my parents proud,” says Roberge, who will be accompanied by band members Tuli Porcher and Jasmine Michel, violin, Mat MacEachern, drums, Sam Langille, bass, Cameron Menzies, guitar and Laura Oakie, piano.

She was in the kitchen when her mother called her with the news that her album, “Your Masterpiece”, had received six Music P.E.I. nods.

“I felt grateful,” says Roberge, who was nominated for album, new artist, pop, solo, song and video of the year.

That’s because of the challenges she faced in developing “Your Masterpiece”.

“It was a true battle of self-confidence. I felt like I was a very lost soul, trying to figure out what I was doing.”

During the creative process, Roberge became fearful of what others might think; whether her style of music would be accepted or what might happen if her family read into some of the songs and saw her as someone who is in pain.

“I called myself an ‘in the closet’ musician because I never wanted to play anywhere except my bedroom.”

Hoping to boost her confidence, she moved to Toronto and started recording her EP. However, illness forced her to return to P.E.I. before she could finish it.

“There were so many times I wanted to stop and cancel the whole thing because I had a lot of self-doubt.”

Back in her home province, she was able to find the encouragement she needed to finish and release the CD.

“The women in the music business on P.E.I. are extremely supportive one another. For example, Rachel Beck encouraged me. She has helped so many people with her knowledge and support.”
Now with her new confidence, Roberge feels encouraged to help others.

“It’s like a torch that needs to be passed along. Any successes I may have on my path I now feel the responsibility to pass it on. It’s a nice thing about living here.”

If you are going

Who: Jenni & The Hummingbird.

When and where: Saturday, 8 p.m., Songs for a Winters Night at The Guild; Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Florence Simmons Performance Hall.

Website:http://www.jenniandthehummingbird.com/

sally.cole@theguardian.pe.ca

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