Artist Profiles: Le Vent du Nord

Le Vent du Nord

Le Vent du Nord (North Wind) is an evolved traditional Quebecois band born of richly eclectic musical experiences and tastes. Originally founded by pianist and hurdy-gurdy player Nicolas Boulerice and fiddler Olivier Demers, (both formerly of Ad Vielle Que Pourra and Montcorbier), the band originally included tap-dancer/accordionist Benoit Bourque (formerly of Matapat) and singer/guitarist Bernard Simard (formerly of La Bottine Souriante). Bernard Simard was replaced in 2004 by Simon Beaudry on the same instrument: guitar/vocal.

Bourque insists that what makes Quebecois music special is its combination of infectious energy and its community roots. “Quebecois music to many ears is a mix between Irish and Cajun. Like Irish music the technical part of the music is very important: you have to play triplets, and you often play very fast. But there’s also a pleasure aspect that’s very strong in Quebecois music–to just share with people. It’s more of a kitchen approach where you share with your neighbors, friends and family.”

In 2004 Le Vent du Nord won Canada’s prestigious JUNO Award in the category “Roots and Traditional Album of the Year/Group” for their CD Maudite Moisson! In 2007, Rejean Brunet (of The Brunet Brothers) joined the band in the place of Benoit Bourque. Rejean is a consummate musician, and plays accordion, bass, piano and sings.

In 2019, Le Vent du Nord released Territoires. “We wanted to explore the quest for territories, physical or internal, or territories that don’t exist yet,” said fiddler Olivier Demers. “They are also impressions, colors and sentiments, a way of feeling, extreme joy or deep sadness.”

We’re really added a bit of groovy stuff to this album,” added fiddler and foot tapper André Brunet, who joined Le Vent du Nord, “and several songs have a riff with a bouzouki and bass. We’ve left things more open, skipping the answers in the traditional call and response sections and putting a bit of effects on the lead vocal. The sound turned out really rich.”

Discography:

Maudite Moisson! (Borealis Records, 2003)
Les amants du Saint-Laurent (Borealis Records, 2005)
Dans les airs (Borealis Records, 2007)
Mesdames et Messieurs (Borealis Records, 2008)
La part du feu (Borealis Records, 2009)
Symphonique (Radio-Canada disque, 2010)
Tromper le Temps (Borealis Records, 2012)
Têtu (Borealis Records, 2015)
Notre Album Solo, with De Temps Antan (La Compagnie du Nord, 2018)
Territoires (Borealis Records, 2019)

www.leventdunord.com

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.
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