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‘The North Wind’ blows into Empress in April

le vent du nord

Le Vent Du Nord, ambassadors of progressive folk Quebecois music, perform April 13-14 at the Empress Theatre.

GAZETTE CONTRIBUTOR VICKI ARNDT
The 2013 Juno Award nominees for best roots and traditional album by a group make their first appearance April 13-14 at the Empress Theatre.
Le Vent Du Nord (The North Wind), hailed as world renowned ambassadors of progressive folk Quebecois music, perform at 8 p.m. both nights as part of the Centre Stage Series.
Having performed well over 1,000 concerts since their inception in 2002, their edgy, fresh take on traditional music has won audiences over throughout Europe and North America.
With two Juno Awards already under their belts, a Canadian Folk Music Award and the honour of being named “Artist of the Year” at the North American Folk Alliance Gala, this fantastic foursome is set for even bigger things in the future.
The band’s seventh and latest album up for this year’s Juno Award, Tromper le temps (Fooling Time) was released in spring 2012.
A multi-instrumental album with four singers, the album returns to the roots of Quebec while breathing new life into Quebec’s often forgotten history.
The result is a unique sound heavily influenced by Celtic music from both Ireland and Brittany. It’s an album destined to stand the test of time.
The band is comprised of four talented men including Nicolas Boulerice, Simon Beaudry, Olivier Demers and Rejean Brunet.
Those who haven’t heard or seen a hurdy-gurdy before are in for a great treat when Nicolas Boulerice takes the stage.
Boulerice took up the hurdy-gurdy while exploring traditional music in Ireland and France. As a young musician, he explored the folk circuit for 10 years, alongside Olivier Demer he then recorded the album Le vent du nord est toujours fret, which brought about Le Vent Du Nord.
Simon Beaudry from Saint-Come, Que. brings his guitar and Irish bouzouki playing along with what has been described as “his sweet voice” to the Empress along with Olivier Demers, a highly diverse composer, fiddle player, guitar player, foot tapper and vocalist who has written music for the NFB and television commercials, and Rejean Brunet who began playing traditional folk music at a very young age whose talents range from vocals to the diatonic button accordion, acoustic bass guitar, piano and jaw harp.
These boys have not only produced seven highly successful albums with the intense tour schedule that goes with it, they have also managed to regularly appear on Canadian, French and U.K. television and radio.
They have worked with other highly renowned artists like The Chieftans, Harry Manx, the Scottish folk band Breabach and Vasen to name a few.
In addition, they have collaborated on a wide range of musical projects most recently creating a symphonic concert presented by the Portland Symphony Orchestra and the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, the concert will again be performed in April with The Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra.
To say these artists have a busy schedule is an understatement. Leading up to the Empress concerts they will be seen in New York, Burnaby, Salt Spring Island, Moncton and Toronto followed by further appearances in the U.S. and the U.K. this summer.

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