Festival Artists 2021 – Festival à la cabane!
Between 1989 and 1995, Florent Vollant was half of the duo Kashtin, one of the most important and popular indigenous musical groups in Canada. Kashtin sprang on the scene with a harmony-rich acoustic folk-rock sung mostly in the Innu language. The duo recorded and toured, garnered numerous awards, and achieved international recognition.
Today, this Innu singer, songwriter and author from the Maliotenam reserve in Quebec is a widely-acclaimed soloist and music-scene veteran. He has released a number of albums including, most recently, Mitsha Meshkenu (The High Road), a mix of country-folk and tex-mex flavoured tunes. His now multifaceted career has seen him tour, and serve as a mentor, advocate, and spokesperson. Vollant has received numerous awards and distinctions along the way, including a JUNO and the prestigious Gold Medal of the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec in June. And while his musical connections have taken him in many directions, his home and heart are rooted in the land and his peoples’ language and traditions.
Photo: Jean-Charles Labarre
Sirène et Matelot
Lennie Gallant and Patricia Richard share a passion for music. Each has success in their own careers, but discovered that together they have a sound that is unique and fresh - yet carries the weight and wisdom that only comes with time and experience. Patricia Richard, originally from Mont-Carmel, PEI, has performed in many music acts such as the band Panou, the award-winning musical “Ode à l’Acadie”, and with her famous aunt, Angèle Arsenault. Lennie Gallant was born in the village of Rustico, PEI, and is recognized as one of Canada’s leading songwriters and performers. His acclaimed career has included 12 recordings, (2 in French), international performing, numerous awards, the Order of Canada and other achievements.
With Sirène & Matelot, they explore songwriting that reflects not only their roots and influences but also their concerns about the current state of the world. Their new project is an exciting creative adventure.
Performing: Patricia Richard (vocals, mandolin, bodhran, podorythmie), Lennie Gallant (vocals, guitar, bodhran), and Jérémy Gallant (choir, keyboard)
Firmly rooted in the soil of their native land, the energetic and original traditional Québécois music ‘power trio’ that is Genticorum also incorporates the dynamism of today’s North American and European folk cultures in their music. They weave precise and intricate fiddle, flute and accordion, gorgeous vocal harmonies, energetic foot percussion and guitar accompaniment into a big and jubilant musical feast. Their distinctive sound, sense of humour and stage presence makes them a supreme crowd pleaser.
Over the past 20 years the trio has become a fixture on the international world, trad, folk and Celtic music circuits. The band’s six albums have met with critical acclaim in Canada, the United States and Europe, assuring them an enthusiastic audience, and a brilliant future. Known for their energy and its stage presence, Genticorum has delivered more than a 2000 concerts in over 15 countries.
The band’s members are: Pascal Gemme (fiddle, podorythmie, vocals), Yann Falquet (guitar, mouth harp, vocals), and Nicholas Williams (accordion, flute, vocals).
Le Winston Band
The Winston Band is a one-of-a-kind Montréal Zydeco group that mixes its French-Canadian roots with rock and Cajun. The galvanizing sound of the diatonic accordion, supported by contemporary Zydeco instrumentation, electrifies audiences wherever they play. The band is renowned for its exhilarating performances and infectious energy. People “let it go” and dance!
Inspired by different music from French-speaking America, they unashamedly merge cultures and eras to create a doubly "original" sound, both focused on the roots it has chosen and on the national scene where they live. Their repertoire includes new compositions as well as traditional pieces from Louisiana, Québec and beyond.
It was in 2013, after a long stay in Louisiana, that accordionist and songwriter Antoine Larocque surrounded himself with three great Ahuntsic (Montréal college) friends - Vincent Fillion (guitar), Antoine Fallu (electric bass) and Andrew Duquette-Boyte (rubboard) - and a party was born. In 2015, drummer Gregory Fitzgerald completed the quintet. The rest is history in the making. Tune in!
Bold yet vulnerable, as if wearing nothing but a pair of rubber boots and a mischievous smile, Jocelyne Baribeau presents her sound as a true reflection of herself – including both the sweet and the salty. Her songs are slices of life, moments of joy and excess, reflections on sadness and misfortune depicting a musical universe that is both profound and off-beat. With the purest of vocals, Jocelyne carries us away with sparkling ditties and tender ballads in a subtle blend of folk and pop-country.
From the launch of her first EP Petits papiers in 2014, the accolades and award nominations haven’t stopped. She was awarded Francophone Artist of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards in 2016 among other nods, and in 2019, she toured as part of a folk-country duo, Beausejour, with Acadian singer-songwriter Danny Boudreau to great acclaim.
With no signs of slowing down, Jocelyne releases her second solo EP, Portraits Volume 1, in March 2021.
Born in Moncton, New Brunswick, Joseph Edgar is an influential artist in the Acadian music movement. After moving to Montréal in 2012, already with four solo albums under his belt, he became very inspired by his new surroundings and the characters around him – and began to compose and record, adding to his already prodigious output. The Quebec public soon discovered then that, besides his catchy tunes, Edgar has a draftsman's talents and an eclectic creative flair.
His most recent recording, a mini-album entitled Peut-être en rêve (Maybe a Dream) released during the pandemic, has him moving from pop-rock to folk, slightly psychedelic rock, to a first dive into country music. Diversified though perfectly coherent, the five songs bear witness to the last surreal months that we have just experienced… all maybe a dream! Grounded in his Acadian roots, but always evolving, Edgar is a New Brunswick treasure, reflecting the humour, tribulations, and infinite possibilities of human life.
Performing: Joseph Edgar (guitar and voice)
Andy Hillhouse and Pierre Schryer
Pierre Schryer is one of Canada’s leading traditional fiddlers. This Franco-Ontarian has been the recipient of numerous titles and awards, including that of North American Irish Fiddle Champion. His accomplishments are legion and international. Above all, he truly captivates his audience with his energy and warmth. Schryer plays a boundless range of musical styles, from Irish, Scottish, Québecois, and Cape Breton to Canadian Old Time, American Swing and more.
Andy Hillhouse (guitar, voice) cut his teeth in the folk world as the founder and manager of the 1990s Celtic funk band Mad Pudding. Since 2000 he has provided driving, groovy guitar for many of the Celtic music scene’s most respected and exciting acoustic musicians. His album Passages (2017) contains a mixture of traditional and original tunes, and songs by a few of his favourite writers.
Together, the duo is one of the most exciting developments on the Canadian roots music scene – a tour de force of versatility, musicianship, skill, creativity – and bucketloads of talent!
BC’s own Jocelyn Pettit is a vibrant fiddle player, stepdancer, and singer. With grace and passion, this young musical prodigy offers an uplifting and engaging performance of traditional and original music, inspired by the Celtic and folk cultures of Canada (Québec, Cape Breton), Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, and Galicia.
With her band, Jocelyn has toured across Canada, the US, UK, and Europe. She has appeared on national TV and radio, performed for The Queen and Prince Charles, and shared the stage with Irish supergroup, The Chieftains. Her albums have received multiple award nominations, including the Canadian Folk Music Awards and World Artist of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards. She’s currently at work on her 3rd album.
Jocelyn and her band are very excited to be part of Festival du Bois 2021 online.
Performing: Jocelyn Pettit (fiddle, vocals, pieds, stepdance), Joel Pettit (bodhran, cajon, vocals), Siew Wan Khoo (piano, fiddle, vocals), Erik Musseau (whistle, pipes, vocals) and Adam Dobres (guitar).
Loig Morin arrived in Vancouver just over a decade ago from Brittany, France, moving his whole family and arriving here with next to nothing, not speaking a word of English. What he did have was a love for indie music and the experience of recording three albums. In Vancouver, he found inspiration (“When you come to Canada it’s like a new birth.”), new influences – and through drive, talent, and perseverance, became a familiar figure in the music community.
His music sweeps listeners up in universes that embody inspiration from different cultures in music that unites more classic and pop styles with contemporary electronic touches in a seemingly effortless way. Liog´s voice is poetically soft and profound. His songs are personal and insightful. Singing in French, he releases his 4th Canadian album, Printemps this April, the first of a series of four that will embrace each of the year's seasons.
Performing with Loig (keyboard, amplitude voice sequencers) are Maude G.L (vocals) and Vinay Lobo (electric guitar).
A lover of song, veteran performer and musician, comedian and talented animator, André Thériault has performed numerous shows across Canada – from New Brunswick to BC. For several years he has polished, one by one, an impressive repertoire of tunes and stories from great Canadian songwriters and folklorists. For him, “singing the oral tradition” is a memorial to, and an honouring of, his deep connection to the French language. It is a very lively pride that must, according to him, spread to all corners of the Francophone cultural space.
Roger Dallaire with Daniel Gervais
Roger Dallaire is a storyteller, accordionist and guitarist, who also plays the banjo and the harmonica. For Roger, traditions are more than just a thing of the past - he makes it a lifestyle. When you add ventriloquist, dancer, puppeteer and folklorist to his list of talents - it become clear that Roger has several strings to his bow. Most recently, he was the cornerstone, alongside Daniel Gervais, of the Flying Canoë Volant Winter Festival, held in February in Mill Creek in Edmonton. He is also an icon for the Carnaval de St-Isidore which has taken place in Peace River for more than 30 years and, in 2019, he performed at the 50th Festival du Voyageur in Winnipeg.
Canadian Grand Master Fiddle Champion in 2011 and 2016, Daniel Gervais has been playing the fiddle since he was five. He plays a variety of fiddle styles as well as classical violin, sings, and provides his own rhythm section of podorythmie. Daniel has won a number of prestigious awards, has toured widely, and recorded six albums.
Isabelle la Wonderful
Isabelle la Wonderful is funny, personable and dynamic – known wherever she goes as a crowd pleaser. And she has more than a few tricks up her sleeve. Magician, clown, balloon artist, face painter, stand-up comedian, she does it all! Isabelle has been making people laugh with her funny jokes while impressing others with her magic tricks and her wonderful balloon creations for over 20 years.
Frenchie the Clown
Frenchie the Clown is a familiar and well-loved face at Festival du Bois. For over 25 years, he’s been travelling from Paris, France to celebrate the joy of this festival with kids of all ages. This year, Frenchie comes to us virtually to read one of his favourite books, Be You! by Peter H.Reynolds.
View in: French