Festival Artists 2022
Le Diable à Cinq
Meet a dazzling group of five masterful multi-instrumentalists and singers from Ripon in Outaouais who’ve made a name for themselves on the Quebec music scene. Inspired by the traditional tunes of their hometown, these five devils are on a mission to revive the energetic, warm and festive evenings of music they’ve grown up with – and share them with you. In their hands, the region’s rich trad repertoire gets updated and interwoven with original compositions. Add galvanizing rhythms, accomplished musicianship on a multitude of instruments, great arrangements, an obvious joy in playing music together - and you get a fiery, celebratory sound that sets stages ablaze everywhere they play. From the first note, you’re left with little choice but to stand up and join in the intoxicating dance of life.
Le Diable à Cinq members are the Sabourin brothers, Éloi (vocals, piano), Samuel (vocals, tenor banjo, fiddle, mandolin) and Félix (vocals, accordion, podorhythmie), their cousin André-Michel Dambremont (vocals, acoustic guitar, bass guitar), and their childhood friend Rémi Pagé (vocals, fiddle, mandolin, podorhythmie).
Punching through the walls of tradition, the McDades’ Celtic-rooted music fuses the spontaneity of jazz improvisation with infectious global rhythms to create a one-of-a-kind sound and an irresistible groove. This cutting-edge sound is the perfect complement to their fiery performances. At the heart of the group are siblings Shannon, Solon, and Jeremiah, who grew up playing Canadian folk music alongside their parents and among artists from around the world. Combining original tunes and unique interpretations of traditional songs, The McDades’ performances feature both energetic instrumentals and moving vocals performed in English and French.
This compelling and dynamic group “finds their groove somewhere between a down-home kitchen party, a jazzy after-hours club, and a folk festival.” (London Free Press). It’s no surprise they’ve won a JUNO (Best Roots Album (group)) and two Canadian Folk Music Awards (World Group of the Year and Instrumental Album of the Year).
Band members are: Jeremiah McDade (vocals, tin whistle, sax, violin), Shannon Johnson (vocals, violin), Solon McDade (vocals, bass), Eric Breton (percussion), and Andy Hillhouse (acoustic guitar).
Le Winston Band
A break-out hit at last year’s virtual festival, folks have since made it pretty clear they want to see Montreal’s Le Winston Band live, in-person - and ASAP! We’re now happy to request you get ready for a rip-roaring experience as Le Winston’s bring their hybrid brand of rollicking Zydeco, French-Canadian roots, rock and Cajun to the Grand Chapiteau. Inspired by different music from French-speaking America, the group enthusiastically merges cultures and eras to create a doubly original sound, both focused on the roots it has chosen and on the scene where they live. Their repertoire includes new compositions as well as traditional pieces from Louisiana, Quebec and beyond.
Diatonic accordion, a contemporary Zydeco band formation combined with exhilarating performances and infectious (he good kind) energy will inspire you to just let loose and dance!
Le Winston Band is Antoine Larocque (vocals, accordion), Vincent Fillion (guitar, vocals), Antoine Fallu (electric bass, vocals), Andrew Duquette-Boyte (rubboard/frottoir, triangle, vocals) amd Gregory Fitzgerald (drums, vocals).
Alpha Yaya Diallo
Originally from West Africa, now BC-based guitarist, singer and three-time JUNO-winner, Alpha Yaya Diallo has earned a global reputation for the excellence of his musicianship, as well as for successfully uniting the traditional and the contemporary. Growing up, Diallo was exposed to a variety of cultures, absorbing musical traditions and influences from the Malenke, Sousou, his own Foulani people and others. In addition, he spent time in neighbouring Senegal and picked up the popular and powerful mbalax rhythm there – as well as influences from Cape Verde and the Caribbean.
Diallo’s musical inheritance is something he always nurtures and builds upon. He never strays far from these roots, while at the same time ensuring that his performances and his albums make use of the very latest advances in music technology.
Today, performing in French, English and his native Guinean languages of Fpulani, Malinke, and Sosoxi, Diallo’s dexterous acoustic and electric guitar-playing with its fluid melodic lines and compelling grooves places him in the front ranks of both African and Canadian musicians.
Take some of the hottest, award-winning, contemporary fiddlers from Western Canada, mix in complex arrangements and a thrilling rhythmic underlay and you’ve got… Collage Trad! This new gathering of virtuosity is a musical melting pot of local fiddle traditions with a dash of swing, a pinch of jazz, a sprinkle of rock and pure folk. Their music and spirit is uplifting and energizing. Collage Trad has developed an explosive, exceptionally tight, cohesive sound.
This energetic and gripping musical experience is the result of a creative collaboration between six exceptional musicians with strong traditional music roots. Collage Trad is led by fiddler Gabriel Dubreuil. Gabriel is joined by fiddlers Mark Sullivan and Serena Eades with Andy Hillhouse (guitar), Allan Dionne (drums/accordion) and Wynston Minckler (bass).
“Collage” is defined as the art that results from an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole. This talented collaboration offers a fresh take on fiddle traditions – an exciting prospect you have to see and experience for yourself!
This year, Festival du Bois is excited to again welcome the North Fraser Métis Association, Region 2 to share some of the Métis people’s culture and music and dance traditions with us all.
Today, there are nearly 90,000 self-identified Métis in BC – descendants of both Indigenous and European ancestors. The Métis language, Michif, is a mixture or Cree, French, English. They have many similarities with French culture in their own - the wearing of the sash, their dance and music are all connected.
The Métis' love of song and dance blends their First Nations and European ancestral cultures into unique fiddle playing and dance styles. They embraced the fiddle and began playing and making their own tunes, often mixing Indigenous, Scots and French-Canadian rhythms, but with unique beats. These new songs also led to the creation of new dances. Later, other fiddling traditions from English-speaking North America also contributed to Métis fiddling.
Métis jigging originated in the Red River area. It is an exciting combination of First Nations dancing and Scottish and French-Canadian step-dancing, and reel, jig and quadrille steps. Dancers Yvonne Chartrand, Nadia Dalton and Fergus Dalton will be performing with a range of local fiddlers.
You’re invited to come and share in the Métis spirit!
BC’s own Jocelyn Pettit is a vibrant fiddle player, stepdancer, and singer. With grace and passion, this 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) along with Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, and Galicia.
Jocelyn has toured with her band 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 releasing her third album, Wind Rose, this year.
Performing: Jocelyn Pettit (fiddle, vocals, pieds, stepdance, Boris Favre (piano, vocals), Allan Dionne (accordion), Lauri Lyster (percussion, vocals)
Locarno is a celebration of sound and groove with roots in Mexican son jarocho folk music and early Afro-Cuban son combined with influences of African soukous, Mexican marimba music, Venezuelan joropo, Brazilian forró and more.
The band, which takes its name from a Vancouver beach, is led by Juno-winning artist Tom Landa - also the front man of one of BC’s favourite Celtic folk bands, The Paperboys. Tom was born and raised in Mexico City, and moved to Canada in his teens. Even after forming Paperboys, Tom dabbled in Latin music and studied son jarocho in Vera Cruz. That experience led to the formation of Locarno in 2009.
Their brilliant live shows feature Tom on vocals, guitar, and the eight-stringed jarana. He’s joined by Kalissa Landa (violin), Robin Layne (marimba, congas, timbales), Pedro Mota (guitar, vocals), JeanSe LeDoujet (bass), Liam MacDonald (drums, congas, pandero), Jocelyn Waugh (trumpet), and Nick La Riviere (trombone).
This exciting cross-pollinating and multi-piece band will have the Grand Chapiteau on its feet with its exuberant energy. That’s a promise!
The Sybaritic String Band
The Sybaritic String Band is regarded as Vancouver’s premier contradance band.
They’ve been kicking the festival’s Friday night dances off in fine style for a few years, but whenever they hit the stage, it’s time to kick up your heels! This year they also performing a set on Saturday morning.
Contradancing is a fun and friendly social dance done to a mix of folk music with English, Scottish and French roots. In the hands of the master players in The Sybs, everyone wants to join in and have fun.
North Shore Celtic Ensemble
The North Shore Celtic Ensemble (NSCE) is a dynamic community of young musicians from North Vancouver. What started as a Celtic ensemble in 1998 has evolved over the years into a spirited no-boundaries exploration of music that inspires them – and wows everyone who sees them. They offer a full-spectrum musical experience that defies labels and spans conventional genres.
The Ensemble’s own original compositions draw on Celtic, classical, jazz and folk influences blended with creative arrangements of more traditional Celtic tunes. Seven CDs celebrate their music and its west coast roots. They they’ve toured across North America, Europe and China and perform regularly in local concerts and at festivals.
More than just a performing group, though, the NCSE is a meeting place for youth to explore and share music. Believing that music is about connecting with people of all ages and cultures, the Ensemble is committed to helping to build connections through exceptional community performances and creative collaborations. These North Shore-based youth continue to excite and inspire, bringing fresh energy and a whole new style to the local music scene.
Alouest is a dynamic musical group based in the heart of BC’s French Canadian community – Maillardville! Taking inspiration from groups like La Bottine Souriante and Great Big Sea, Alouest prides itself in reviving the traditional songs of the French-Canadian culture by adapting new arrangements and musical styles. Alouest employs powerful vocal harmonies combined with guitar, fiddle, mandolin, and an array of folk percussion instruments to reinterpret the songs of their upbringing from a decidedly west coast perspective.
On stage: Roger Grimard (percussion and vocals), Michel Legal (guitar, percussion and vocals) and Daniel Legal (guitar, mandolin, violin and vocals)
Will's Jams is children's musician Will Stroet, a Juno-nominated singer-songwriter, CBC Kids TV star, educator and dad who creates multilingual music that ignites imagination and motivates movement for the young and young-at-heart. Drawing from his own experiences, Will creates songs and stories that entertain the whole family. Through witty wordplay and catchy choruses, Will inspires kids to be active, healthy, creative, community-minded and engaged in the world through educational music in English and French.
Expect Will and his band to deliver a show full of fun actions, jokes and high-energy rock-pop tunes with sing-along choruses. They’ll perform fan favourites as seen on CBC Kids TV, along with new songs from his 11th album, Big Shiny Spoons. Kids will be cheering for libraries, loving their bikes, rallying for vegetables - and dancing away!
Will Stroet (vocals, guitar), Kevin Romain (drums), Elliot Langford (bass and keys)
3x Juno-nominated and heart-forward Ginalina creates a world of family folk music and beautiful books that celebrate nature, community, and the connections we share between them. Her collection of lively songs and stories are warm, winsome, fun, and exciting - and are inspired by forest adventures, train rides, happy mealtimes, and the magic of childhood. Together, in French and English, with friends and community, we can share wonderful moments of singing, dancing, and a sort of kindness that the world needs more than ever.
Ginalina's concert stage will be a merry mix of guitar, ukulele, banjolele, accordions, and percussion, and will feature a delightful Canadian classic, The Logdriver's Waltz. Her 4x Canadian Folk Music Award and 2x Western Canadian Music Award winning music is featured on CBC Kids, Universal Kids, and Kids Knowledge Network TV.
Les Petits Matins
On the theme of an adventure in nature, Angèle Verrier from Les Petits Matins invites preschoolers to join her for an interactive program! First, she presents a puppet show that features their friends Gigi the Rabbit and Leo the Turtle from the “Les petits matins” videos. This will be followed by a fun craft or a game, and, finally - a yoga adventure!
Engaging facilitator, French immersion teacher, passionate about early childhood education, Angèle Verrier guides her audiences with a sense of wonder that will reach and delight young people. Sociable and experienced in communication and leadership, with a playful voice and personality, she infuses art and curiosity into her adventures. Angèle looks forward to sharing entertaining moments with the children at Festival du Bois.
Born in North Benin, Africa, the son of the chief of the Waama people, Yoro is a multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter who learned the art of storytelling and drumming from his family as they traveled the region sharing their cultural traditions. Now, in Canada, Yoro is in great demand as a performer, having mastered the donga (talking drum), kokomba (congas), and djembe. On stage, both solo and with his band, he is a energetic and mesmerizing performer, drawing you in to the sights, sounds, and rhythms of West Africa.
This poetic character on stilts will have you dreaming, dancing and celebrating in style. Prepare to be thrilled and amazed! Acrobatic stilt-dancer, choreographer, interdisciplinary artist and educator Isabelle Kirouac creates original and unique acrobatic stilt animations. From street improv to live on-the-spot moments of wonder, her work is engaging and dynamic - integrating dance, acrobatics and other elements into her one-of-a-kind performances.
Isabelle Kirouac uses movement as a tool to investigate the poetics of the senses and to process questions raised in everyday life. She has performed extensively across Canada, the USA, Mexico, Colombia and Europe. She has created her own stilt performances Habitats (2016), Third Space (2019) and Megafauna (in development) and has performed in the work of acrobatic stilts companies such as The Carpetbag Brigade Physical Theatre (USA), Nemcatacoa Teatro (Colombia), Circus Stella (N-B/Quebec), and others. Isabelle holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University.
Daniele et Michèle
Meet Betssy Frutty et Madame Papillon! Now that winter is behind us, let's all have a good time. Butterflies are coming out of their cocoons, the flowers abound with exquisite nectar and it's an amazing feeling to meet each other again at the Festival du Bois! You are invited to "spread your wings" with these two colourful social butterflies.
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