Pianist and composer Lorraine Desmarais is known in Canada, the USA, Europe, Mexico, China, Indonesia, and Africa for her solo, trio and big band performances. She has also appeared with many symphony orchestras, including the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, the Orchestre Métropolitain, the Orchestre symphonique de Laval, the Orchestre symphonique de Québec and the Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia (Spain).
Her career took off in Canada in 1984 when the Montreal International Jazz Festival awarded her a first prize. She now has eleven albums of original compositions, sprinkled with jazz stan¬dards, to her name. Three of these (Trio Lorraine Desmarais, Jazz pour Noël, and Big Band) won FÉLIX awards at the ADISQ gala.
She has won numerous awards, including First Prize at the Great American Jazz Piano Competition, the Montreal International Jazz Festival’s Oscar Peterson Award, SOCAN’s Composers Award, and the SPACQ André Gagnon Prize, the Artistic Creation Award of the Conseil des Arts et des lettres du Québec, the Ontario Arts Foundation Prize for Keyboard Artistry, and a Prix Opus from the Conseil Québécois de la Musique. In 2011, she received an honorary doctorate from Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM) and the Gérard-Hébert Award from the Festival de jazz de Québec.
Lorraine Desmarais has performed with world-renowned artists such as Chick Corea, Jacky Terrasson, Joanne Brackeen, Marian McPartland, Tiger Okoshi, Paquito D’Rivera, Ingrid Jensen, Kenny Wheeler, Guido Basso, Jane Bunnett, Oliver Jones, Michel Donato, Alain Caron, François Bourassa, Michel Cusson, and the Big Band Diva of New York. With her great versatility, she has worked with Baroque period performers such as Ensemble Caprice, as well as with artists on Québec’s popular music scene, such as Ariane Moffatt, Martin Deschamps, Jim Corcoran, Michel Rivard, Bruno Pelletier, and Sylvain Cossette. She has written several film scores for the National Film Board of Canada, and she has received several commissions, including a flute and piano sonata featuring Lise Daoust and Louise Bessette ; Odalisque, featuring pianist Oliver Jones ; and XIII-Theme & Variations for violinist Angèle Dubeau and La Pietà. She also hosted a radio program entitled Lorraine Desmarais reçoit… for Radio-Canada-CBC.