Famed impersonator and comedian André-Philippe Gagnon plans Aug. 17 show in Kuujjuaq
Award-winning Gagnon brings "The One Man Hit Parade" to Aqpik Jam music festival
A recent visitor who travelled from Iqaluit to Nuuk recently suggested the capital city of Greenland was the Las Vegas of the Arctic.
But the title should perhaps go to Kuujjuaq, Nunavik’s adminsitrative hub, where the celebrated impersonator and comedian André-Phillippe Gagnon, who’s put on sold-out shows in Las Vegas and around the world for 25 years, will perform Aug. 17 as part of the community’s Aqpik Jam music festival.
In 1985, Gagnon first acquired his international reputation, when, appearing for the first time at the Montreal Just for Laughs festival, he impersonated with accuracy every artist appearing in the song, “We are the World,” written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie.
Thanks to the success of his performance at that festival, Gagnon was invited to present his version of “We Are the World” on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, reaching an audience of 15 million American viewers.
Since then, Gagnon, who turns 50 later this year, has performed at many renowned venues, in Las Vegas, at the Calgary Winter Oympics and on television, where he’s hosted Juno and ADISQ award ceremonies (and won many awards from these same groups).
Called “the man of 400 voices,” who can impersonate numerous singers, including Tracy Chapman, Louis Armstrong, James Brown, members of The Rat Pack and Elton John, Gagnon has also performed for the royal families of England and Monaco.
On 2010 he developed a new English-language show, “The One Man Hit Parade,” which combines music, comedy, and multimedia interaction to bring together artists who have never appeared on the same stage before – such as Elvis, Barry White, Guns N’ Roses, Gnarls Barkley, Maroon5 and even Susan Boyle – creating a true parade of hits.
The combination of music, comedy and creativity, which has been called Gagnon’s most personal show ever, earned him recognition earlier this year at the 15th Star Awards Gala in Toronto, where performing as the headliner of the event, Gagnon was named the “Entertainer of the Year.”
Like all of the Aqpik Jam music festival’s events, Gagnon’s show in Kuujjuaq is free — but sure to attract a full house to the Katittavik Town Hall auditorium which can see about 500 people.
The night’s entertainment also includes other acts, including the popular throat singing duo of Evie Mark and Akinisie Sivuarapik.