2017 Artists

Guitar accompanying workshop Violin workshop Artists, storytellers, callers…


Hosted by Paul Marchand
The workshop consists of 7 hours over 2 days It will explore the myriad possibilities of the instrument, for beginner to more experienced guitarists. The focus will be on the art of accompanying acoustic traditional music. Starting by listening to others, and performing in improvised sessions, to the identification of chords, basic modes and rhythms, finishing with the exploration of different styles and techniques. All this in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Other stringed instruments are welcome as well (bouzouki, mandolin, banjo, ukulele etc.).

Paul Marchand Paul has taught guitar accompanying in music camps in Canada and the United States, including the famous Ashokan in New York State. He has also taught in Edmonton for the La Girandole association. He was part of the team of teachers of the Young Musicians of the World school. Having worked with exceptional musicians since his adolescence, he founded the band Manigance in 1982 (CD in 1988). In 1985, he participated in his first tour of France with the group Grand Bardas, with subsequent tours in France from 1986 to 1987. He then moved there for two years, animating evenings of traditional Quebecois dance throughout France. In 1990 he returned to Canada, to record and tour with the group Manigance. In 1992, he became a guitarist for Angèle Arsenault on the Bonjour Madame Bolduc show. This show ran for a year and a half in Quebec as well as roughly sixty Canadian cities. Since 1994 he has been part of the group Entourloupe recording 3 CDs and touring 6 states of USA and 3 countries in Europe. Entourloupe was officially selected for the folk Alliance showcase in Vancouver in 2001. Meanwhile, he was asked to take part in several other recordings, including OJNAB with Jean-Paul Loyer. He has also participated on various CDs, including two with the American violinist Laurie Hart.


Hosted by Éric Favreau and Pascal Gemme
The workshop consists of 7 hours over 2 days. It includes sessions for intermediate and advanced players. Exploring various violin repertoire and techniques of traditional Quebecois music, participants of both levels will have instruction directed by the two teachers.

Pascal Gemme
Pascal has been collecting violin melodies from his home province of Quebec for twenty years. This impressive repertoire has helped him forge his technical mastery of the violin. His international tours have given him public recognition both in Quebec and abroad. He is a founding member of the renowned group Genticorum (Juno and ADISQ nominations, and four Canadian Folk Music Prizes) with which he recorded 5 CDs and performed more than 1,000 times in more than 15 countries. In addition to having participated in numerous CDs with various artists, he has recorded two CDs in duo with Mario Loiselle and Yann Falquet.
Recognized internationally as one of the best bows of his generation, Pascal is in great demand as a teacher in Quebec and on national and international stages. He is once again leading the Festival’s intensive workshops this year.
Éric Favreau
Éric teaches traditional violin music at the Cégep de Joliette, the only school in the province that offers training of this type. For the past ten years, he has been giving workshops on traditional music to elementary and secondary school students across the province (Ministry of Education and Ministry of Culture program). He recorded in 1998 a CD inescapable in the discography of Quebec: Reel for two. From 1997 to 2002 He recorded three CDs with the group Entourloupe and took part in more than 20 other recordings. Currently active with Raz-de-Marée, he travels the United States. He has performed at numerous festivals in Quebec, the other Canadian provinces, the United States and Europe. For some time now, his interest has turned more and more towards the transmission of his knowledge through quality teaching. He is regularly invited to give master classes in the United States (American Fiddle Tunes Seattle, Swannanoa Gathering North Carolina, Ashokan Fiddle and Dance Camp New York, Maine Fiddle Camp), Canada (North Atlantic Convention in Newfoundland, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta) and in Europe (Scotland, Ireland, Normandy, Poitou, Denmark).


Jasmine Xu

Jasmine, born in Montreal, began her musical studies at the age of six. She first studied piano at the Royal Conservatory of Toronto and at the Vincent d’Indy School of Music. At the age of seven, she followed her mother’s footsteps by studying the Erhu with her. Since then, she has performed at numerous events, such as the Botanical Garden, Place des Arts alongside the composer Anic Proulx and several charity concerts in Macau. In 2013, she recorded “A Matter of Time” by composer Benoit Jutras and has since become the voice of the main theme of Franco Dragone’s “Han Show” show in Wuhan, China.

Alex Kehler
With over 20 years of experience and his training as a baroque violinist at McGill University, Alex is a versatile fiddle player. He specializes in Celtic music but is at ease in many other styles. His current projects include Soulwood, the Alex Kehler Nicholas Williams Duo, Les Siffleurs de nuit, La Nef, and Skye Consort. Over the past 5 years his passion for Scandinavian music has made him somewhat unique in North America, playing the Swedish nyckelharpa. As a Canada Council grant recipient, he has had the opportunity to study with four renowned Swedish teachers. He also plays låtmandola, the Swedish equivalent to the Irish bouzouki. Don’t miss his performances with David Kaynor and Nicholas Williams.
Trad sur Mesure
A group of seasoned musicians who recreate the great classics of Quebec folklore. As members of the group MAZ (well known quartet with many CDs), these two outstanding musicians, Pierre-Olivier Dufresne and Marc Maziade (violin, guitar and banjo virtuosos) forged a link between traditional music and jazz.
Led by Véronique Plasse and Jean Desrochers, this open group of musicians shares a common repertoire. The Tradorchestre brings you the contagious pleasure of traditional music jam sessions. They also present musical in the public places.
Alex Kehler, Willy Lemaistre and Daniel Haché provide us with an acoustic journey accompanied by a multitude of instruments with woody sounds that brings out the spirit of the traditional melodies of Celtic origin. This trio from the Appalachian Mountains in the Eastern Townships has built a bilingual repertoire in the image of their beautiful region. “The atmosphere of folk, in the style of André Marchand, is performed with skill, often intimate, sometimes creating a trance effect. To their voices, violin and guitar, they add other instruments including the nyckelharpa, cistre and even the didgeridoo. The group is a beautiful discovery.” Le Devoir
Red River Trio
A mélange of musical styles from Plains violin to French songs from North America with engaging narratives. This is what makes up the identity of the Red River Trio, comprised of Justin Bell, Jean Desrochers and Isaac Beaudet. Rebellion songs and healing tunes of Métis fiddlers combine with Quebecois repertoire and original compositions, creating a unique blend of these two related musical traditions. To the sound of the accordion, the violin and the guitar, this trio produces a contagious energy. A promising new band on the traditional music scene, a sound to discover.
Sandrine Zuyderhoff
Violinist and music therapist, for several years Sandrine has animated hundreds of violin workshops for children. With many small violins available for kids, Sandrine aims to put an instrument in the hands of children as soon as possible in a relaxed and festive atmosphere.
Donald Dubuc
Donald is a well-respected dance caller and storyteller in the Eastern Townships. He conveys a rich repertoire of tales and dances from here and elsewhere in a festive and family atmosphere.
Yann Falquet
A member of Genticorum, Yann is one of the most active guitarists in Québec’s traditional music scene. He has been heard with a plethora of musicians in North America. Not to be missed this year are his duos with Alexis Chartrand and Nathalie Hass as well as the quartet with Nathalie Hass, Nicholas Williams and Laura Risk.
Catherine Planet
Host and storyteller at the Children’s Festival, Catherine will also direct the Musical Chairs activity this year. With a solid training in classical music and jazz, she became smitten by improvisation, traditional, and Cajun music. She founded the Rose Vagabond group and hosts the Chasse-Balcon (winner of the VIVA Desjardins 2016 competition). She is a past recipient of the AUDACE award in composition.
Nathalie Hass
A Juilliard graduate, Natalie is one of the most sought after cellists in traditional music today. She and Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser have had a duo for over 15 years, wowing audiences at festivals and concerts worldwide with their unique sound. Natalie has also toured with Mark O’Connor as a member of his Appalachia Waltz Trio. Natalie MacMaster, Irish Greats Altan, Solas, and Liz Carroll, and Americana icon Dirk Powell. She is an associate professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. This year we have the chance to hear her perform with Yann Falquet and as the quartet with Yann Falquet, Nicholas Williams and Laura Risk.
Alexis Chartrand
Alexis, violinist from Montreal, has been performing for several years on the Quebec and international scene. Influenced by the links between Québec’s traditional music and dances, he is known for his energetic accompaniment of jig and figure dances. Drawing inspiration from Québec’s musical tradition, he is also interested in Irish, Scottish music and the repertoire of early music. He has studied classical music and contemporary composition. He frequently collaborated with dancers Anne-Marie Gardette, Pierre Chartrand and Antoine Turmine. He performs regularly in duos with guitarists Marc Maziade, Colin Savoie-Levac, Peter Senn and Yann Falquet, and with the multi-instrumentalist Nicolas Babineau. He has also participated in concerts with Rapetipetam, MAZ and Danse Cadence.
Laura Risk
A native of California, Laura grew up in the hustle and bustle of the Scottish music scene in San Francisco under the tutelage of master Alasdair Fraser. Currently based in Montreal, she has toured internationally as a soloist and as a member of various groups. Laura is known for her highly diverse and expressive style, which allows her to move between the elegant 18th century Scottish lounge music and the stunning strathspeys and reels that are the delight of theaters and dance halls. In recent years, Laura has distinguished herself with the great names of traditional American and Celtic music such as gigue player Sandy Silva, the bands Greenfire, Ensemble Galileï, Cordelia’s Dad, and The John Whelan Band. Laura also pursues a career as a researcher and holds a doctorate in musicology from McGill University. She is co-author of The Glengarry Collection: The Highland Fiddle Music of Aonghas Grant and co-producer of the Douglastown: Musique et chanson de la Gaspésie, for which she won the Prix Mnemo 2014
Pierre Chartrand
President of the Conseil Québécois du Patrimoine Vivant and director of the Centre Mnemo Pierre is recognized at home and abroad as a dancer, professor, historian and ethnologist in dance and as a choreographer, step dancer and dance caller. After his debut in 1971 with the dance troupe Les Sortilèges, he taught at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). Between 1983 and 1987, he performed solo or in groups in various American festivals. It is also the period when he choreographed various companies and productions. From 1987 to 1991, he pursued his master’s studies at the Sorbonne and performed numerous shows in France. He returned to teach at UQUAM and perform numerous workshops around the world (France, Italy, England, USA, Canada, Denmark, etc.). He is the founder of the traditional music program of the Cégep de Lanaudière. Winner of numerous prizes such as Anik 1982, Medal in traditional dance at the Jeux de la Francophonie (Madagascar – 1997), award for best choreography by the Independent Reviewers of New England in 2005 (soloist and choreographer in Boston, Houston, San Francisco, Washington, Hanover in the following years). Always active with his company Danse Cadence he choreographs and produces shows for special events.
David Kaynor
David is a true master and a legend in the New England traditional music scene. From the age of 6, piano lessons, guitar playing and attending numerous dances led David to pick up the fiddle in 1974. He played extensively at dances and other events around New England and became involved in the national contra dance scenes. He has taught, played, and called at camps, workshops and other events all over the country. He has made numerous visits to Sweden taking part in music and dance events presenting New England music and dance in schools, public places, and private homes. This summer, for the 16th time, he will be on staff at Northern Week at Ashokan as well as the Contra Dance Musicians’ Week at the John C. Campbell Folk School for the fourth consecutive year. This year, along with Alex Kehler and Nicholas Williams, he will perform his magic harmonies over traditional New England music.
Nicholas Williams
Nicholas has developed a reputation as a versatile and sought-after musician in the traditional music scenes of Québec and New England.  His rhythmic yet nuanced style of flute playing draws from Irish and Scottish traditions, as well as from his studies of classical North Indian music.  After completing a BFA in world music and composition at York University, Nicholas moved to Québec in 2000, where he has enjoyed exploring the common ground of his own diverse musical experiences with the rich Québécois musical tradition.  Also an accomplished accordionist and piano player, he is a member of the famous group Genticorum with Pascal Gemme and Yann Falquet. This year he will perform in duos with Laura Risk, Alex Kehler and David Kaynor, as well as in a quartet with Yann Falquet, Nathalie Hass and Laura Risk.
Marie-Jeanne Brousseau
Aged 11, fascinated by the accordion, Marie-Jeanne met Yves Hélie, with whom she took lessons for about 7 years. In 2008, she took part in the Festival du Folklore Québécois in Vaudreuil, where she won second place in the Champion Accordion category. A few years later, she became acquainted with the Leahy family by participating in Leahy Music Camp in Ontario, which had a major influence on her musical style. Since then, she has performed with Emily Flack and other events in Quebec, notably at the Carrefour Mondial de l’Accordéon, where she has performed with the artists for more than 8 consecutive years.
Jordan Bélanger

An exceptional young talented fiddler. Winner of the Young Tradition Vermont contest 2015 and has already toured in Scotland.


With Robin Beech on concertina and accordion, Laurence Beaudry on violin and Richard Lupien on guitar, this group has produced a CD featuring their original instrumental compositions. The group happily leaves the beaten track to skillfully combine the different influences of the Celtic world from which they draw their inspiration.

Young Tradition Vermont
Vermont is home to a wide range of traditional music and dance, a tapestry of people from other places, many who brought their traditions with them. The state’s culture has consistently inspired singers, instrumentalists and dancers, and is deservedly identified for the creativity and contributions of its artists. Young Tradition Vermont is an organization with its primary focus on young people, traditional music and dance, and a commitment to ensure what is offered is available at low or no cost. The group inspires young people with traditional music and dance, ensure opportunities for them to learn and have performing opportunities.