It all began…with the bossa nova!

Moved by the rhythms of Brazil, Jean-François Léger uses his remarkable voice bring to life the songs that turned bossa nova into a veritable cultural revolution.

Starting with Antônio Carlos Jobim, Jean-François takes us on a colourful voyage through the amazing history of a musical style that became the voice of Brazil around the world. Read more…

Watch a teaser of 60 years of Bossa Nova



Infused with understated elegance, 50 Years of Bossa Nova invites the listener into a plush, warm atmosphere exuding hot evenings in a Rio de Janeiro cabaret, complete with dim lighting, flickering lanterns and suave evening attire.

The album features twelve songs that have defined the history of bossa nova, including “Manhã de Carnaval” (“A day in a life of a fool”), “Chega de Saudade” (“Fly, My Heart”), “Agua de Beber” (“Water to Drink”), “Desafinado” (“Off Key”) and “A felicidade” (“Happiness”), not to mention the ubiquitous “Garota de Ipanema” (“The Girl from Ipanema”). By performing these Brazilian classics in Portuguese, Jean François captures the original flavour and connects us with the essence of 1960s bossa nova .

50 years of bossa nova in studio Victor

Jean-François also acknowledges the affection certain French musicians had for Brazilian bossa nova artists by including on the album “Les eaux de mars,” Georges Moustaki’s translation of “Águas de Março” and “Samba Saravah,” Pierre Barouh’s French version of “Samba da Bênção.”

Finally, the album revisits two Québec songs: “Gilberto” by Diane Tell and Gilles Rivard’s “Chanter danser,” both classics that transcend the years and remain irresistible to this day.

50 ans de bossao nova pochette



Jean-François Léger’s love of music began from childhood. After first learning to play piano and guitar, he went on to pursue university studies in classical singing and jazz.
His professional career was launched at the age of 22 when he won first prize in the singer-songwriter category at the 1990 Festival international de la chanson de Granby. Jean-François went on to pursue a diverse career not only as a performer but also as a composer of works for film, circus, multimedia and the stage, not to mention a musical.

Jean-Francois Leger WIP
Le Grand_Jeu de Nuit
Le Grand Jeu de Nuit – Théâtre Sans Fil 1992

Since 1992, he has been working in close collaboration with Théâtre Sans Fil, an international theatre company specializing in giant puppets. Over the years, Jean-François has composed often for Théâtre Sans Fil productions, most notably a symphonic score for Le Grand Jeu de Nuit — a major sound and lights production marking Montréal’s 350th anniversary attended by an audience of more than 100,000.

In 2000, he wrote the score for the film Via Crucis, entered in the official competition at the Venise International Film Festival. The same year, he composed the music for Sentinelles, a film without dialogue that won an award at the prestigious IMAGINA festival in Monaco and also earned first prize at the equally prestigious Palm Springs International ShortFest in California.

In 2011, Jean-François composed the opening music to Kaléïdo, the permanent acrobatic show at the Gong Theatre in Shanghai.

Since the show 50 Years of Bossa Nova was first performed at the Hudson Music Festival in 2012, the show has made several highly successful tours across Québec and Ontario.

In 2014, between tours, Jean-François produced the album 50 Years of Bossa Nova in his own recording studio (Studio Cleveland). Since then, he has designed sound tracks for several theatre productions and produced a number of podcasts.


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