November 20, 2018

FOLK/Music Le Vent du Nord, Quebecois

Friday: 8:45 p.m. Railroad; Saturday: noon Railroad, 6 p.m. Heritage; Sunday: noon Penobscot

Le Vent du Nord is recognized as one of the most dedicated conservators of traditional Quebecois song, story, dance and music. The quartet is made up of step dancer and accordionist Benoit Borque, pianist and vocalist Nicolas Boulerice, fiddler Olivier Demers and guitarist Simon Beaudry.

Immigrants to Quebec came mostly from northern France. They brought with them songs, melodies, fiddles and spoons that they played in kitchens and village halls throughout the Canadian province. During their shows, Le Vent du Nord members recall the spirit and energy of these informal gatherings by performing the old tunes and traditional chanson a repondre (call and response) songs they learned from their families.

Benoit Borque, one of Canada’s finest step dancers, has been representing traditional Quebecois culture for more than 20 years, through his step dancing, singing and storytelling, and instrumental performances. Borque is a founding member of famed ensembles Eritage and Matapat, and is a former member of Ad Vielle Que Pourra. He has toured the globe, conducting workshops and performing at festivals and dances. He is also one of the founders of Le Carrefour Mondial de l’Accordeon, an international accordion festival, where he acts as artistic director, master of ceremonies and performer.

Nicolas Boulerice was formally trained in jazz piano but grew up singing the family songs collected by his father. His passion for traditional music led him to travel and perform throughout Quebec and later to France and Ireland, where he learned to play and make a European stringed instrument known as the hurdy-gurdy (in French, vielle ? roue – “wheel fiddle”). Boulerice has toured with many groups, including Ad Vielle Que Pourra and MontCorbier. He and Olivier Demers produced a duo recording before forming Le Vent du Nord.

Olivier Demers is an accomplished violin player trained in classical and traditional music. He has toured with groups including La Bottine Souriante and MontCorbier, and with Senegalese artist Musa Dieng Kala. Before joining Le Vent du Nord, Demers produced a recording in 2001 with Nicolas Boulerice.

Simon Beaudry was born in Saint-C?me, in the Lanaudi?re region of Quebec that is recognized for its traditional songs and musical heritage. At age 12, he started to play the guitar and sing traditional Quebecois repertoire with his father and brothers. Beaudry studied music in college, and before joining Le Vent du Nord in 2004, he accompanied the dance group Les Petits Pas Jacadiens.

In 2004, Le Vent du Nord won a JUNO award for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year-Group. It also was a nominee for the 2004 FELIX Award for Traditional Album of the Year and the 2004 OPUS Award for Concert of the Year-Jazz and World Music.

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