Since its inception in August 2002, Le Vent du Nord has enjoyed meteoric success, performing well over 1,800 concerts over five continents and racking up several prestigious awards, including a Grand Prix du Disque Charles Cros, two Junos (Canada’s Grammys), a Félix at ADISQ, a Canadian Folk Music Award, and Artist of the Year at the North American Folk Alliance Annual Gala.
On stage these friends create intense, joyful and dynamic live performances that expand the bounds of tradition in striking global directions. This is the modern sound of tradition–music of the here and now.
Band members include Nicolas Boulerice, who grew up with the family repertoire and songs collected by his father. His passion for traditional music led him to Ireland and France, where he learned to play the hurdy-gurdy. Simon Beaudry hails from Saint-Côme, Que., an environment where tradition is still very much alive. Simon inherited a solid family musical background from both his grandfathers (one a fiddler, the other a singer) and went on to polish his craft by earning a music degree at Joliette College. Olivier Demers is trained as a violinist and also a solid guitarist. Olivier started out in chamber music and later moved on to jazz. His great versatility allowed him to work with a wide range of artists. He now describes himself as a violoneux (fiddler), having devoted the past 10 years of his life to traditional music. Réjean Brunet started playing Quebecois traditional music as a very young boy. After performing with his brother (André, well-known for his work with la Bottine Souriante and the Celtic iddle festival) as a duo and recording three albums, Réjean joined La Volée d’Castors. He toured with them for eight years, performing in Europe, Canada and the U.S. as they released five albums. The fifth member of the band is André Brunet, born in Lacolle, in Quebec’s Montérégie region. Growing up, it was his parents who first noticed his keen interest in music and encouraged him to follow his passion. André’s first love was for the violin and, at the age of nine, he began taking lessons. Along with brother Réjean, he created Les Frères Brunet and went on to record several albums and perform at various concerts around the world.
The Great North Woods Committee for the Arts has been hosting shows in the North Country since 2004 and recently became the owners of the former Shrine of Our Lady of Grace property in Columbia; the organization is currently using portions of the property while restoration work is ongoing. Other venues in the region are also utilized to bring music to the audience. The Trinity United Methodist Church is on Bridge Street, just off Main Street in downtown Colebrook.
Tickets are $15 and available at Fiddleheads, 110 Main St., Colebrook, online at www.gnwca.org or at the door. For more information on this and other GNWCA shows, find the Great North Woods Committee for the Arts on Facebook, visit www.gnwca.org or you can call 246-8998.