My Story

Michael Francis  (fiddle and vocals) traces his ancestry back to the early days of French Quebec.  Raised on Quebecois music, he is a classically trained violinist and is also regarded as the ensemble's musical historian.  Michael is skilled in Quebecois, Celtic and Appalachian fiddle styles and has performed throughout Michigan and beyond.  

Sheila Graziano discovered her passion for dance at an early age. Rooted in ten years of tap lessons, her enthusiasm grew with the discovery of Appalachian clogging and other forms of traditional dance. Sheila has been performing myriad styles of percussive step dance for the past 30 years. Based in Chelsea, Michigan, she is the dance instructor and choreographer for Fiddlers ReStrung and The Saline Fiddlers, has ongoing adult classes, and teaches at festivals and dance camps throughout the region.

Jean Marie Learman-Lowe (flute, pennywhistle, recorder, squeezebox, guitar and vocals) adds many musical dimensions to La Compagnie. She has performed in several musical groups and writes her own material. She is comfortable spinning a colorful story or belting out a sassy Irish sing-a-long or sailor chantey. A life-long performer, Jean Marie specializes in Maritime and Celtic music.

Kathy Morris (tin whistle, guitar, banjo, bodhran and vocals) visited England as a child where she was inspired by the beauty and simplicity of English folk music. This early exposure to music grew into a love for exploring Celtic, English, Appalachian and Maritime styles. Kathy is the heartbeat of La Compagnie with her thundering beat on the bodhran and infectious laugh.

Genot Picor (guitar, mandolin, cittern, hammered dulcimer and vocals) danced three years with the Michigan Ballet Theater and has studied voice and movement at the Stratford Festival Theater, Stratford, Ontario. He specializes in early French-Quebecois music and assists Sheila with the interactive dance numbers. Born and raised in Michigan, Picor has traveled across the country and eastern Canada collecting regional stories, songs and dances.  In 2015 he received a master's degree from Eastern Michigan University’s Interpretive Performance Studies program, Department of Speech, Media and Theatre.

Mark Szabo (upright bass, guitar and vocals) is La Compagnie’s narrator and naturalist and an award winning member of the National Association for Interpretation. He integrated music into nature and historical programs for 33 years as a park naturalist and historical interpreter for the Huron-Clinton Metroparks in southeastern Michigan.