Essential Quebecois Musician Denis Fréchette Dies at 56

Denis Frechette
Denis Frechette
Denis Fréchette, former member of legendary Quebecois band La Bottine Souriante, died on the 19th of June at 5:15 pm of a heart attack. He was 56 years old.

"It’s a big lost for all the folk, jazz and Latin community in Quebec," said La Bottine’s trombonist Bob Ellis.

"It is with an immense sadness and great shock that we learned about the sudden death of the musician Denis Fréchette on June 20. This grand musician, professor of music, owner of a recording studio of recording and great performer of traditional Québécois music and jazz leaves in mourning, in addition to his closest family, an innumerable community of friends and artists throughout the world," said Gilles Pitre, director of Festival Mémoire et Racines.

was one of the pioneers of traditional music and jazz in Quebec. At the age of 9, he began playing the trumpet in the Cadets joliettains. In 1981, he founded Frechette, a group of brass and percussion that performed for 10 years at Jazz Festival of Montreal. He became a founding member of renowned Quebecois group La Bottine Souriante and stayed with group until 2000.

Denis Frechette opened a recording studio together with his friend Andrew Marchand, singer and a founding member of La Bottine Souriante. Frechette taught at the Department of Music at Cégep Joliette-Lanaudière.

His funeral will be held Thursday at 11 am at the church of Notre-Dame-des-Prairies, at 37 1ere rue, Notre-Dame-des-Prairies, Quebec. Following the funeral service there is a reception at noon, at l’Interlude, 408 Boul Manseau in Joliette.

Photo courtesy of CRLJ