The award winning and highly acclaimed band Le Vent du Nord are a leading force in Québec’s exciting and progressive Francophone folk movement. The group’s vast repertoire draws from both traditional sources and original compositions, while their highly rhythmic and soulful music, rooted in the Celtic diaspora, is enhanced with a broad range of global influences. Since first launching in August 2002, Le Vent du Nord have enjoyed meteoric success, performing well over 2,000 concerts over 4 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 Folk Alliance Annual Gala. The group regularly appear on Canadian, American, French, and UK television and radio and have participated in a wide variety of special musical projects that exhibit their great finesse and flexibility. They’ve collaborated and performed with a diverse range of artists including: Harry Manx, Väsen, Dervish, The Chieftains, Breton musical pioneer Yann-Fañch Kemener, Québécois roots legend and master storyteller Michel Faubert, the Scottish folk band Breabach, Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis, and the trans-Mediterranean ensemble Constantinople. Le Vent du Nord look beyond the standard approaches to tradition in their collaborations and they’ve also created a symphonic concert that, according to Voir Montreal, “puts all traditional folk naysayers to shame.” On stage these five friends [add their names in here?] create intense, joyful and dynamic live performances that expand the bounds of tradition in striking global directions. This is the modern sound of tradition, a music of the here and now.
Hailing from Saint-Côme, Québec, 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. He started out by performing, as a solo artist and in a duo with his brother Éric, traditional repertoire and songs from the great québecois songwriters in many cafes around his hometown. Later on, he accompanied the “Petits pas jacadiens” dance troupe of Saint-Jacques-de-Montcalm before joining Le Vent du Nord, with whom he now travels the world, displaying his sweet voice and his rich, personal guitar & bouzouki playing. Since 2018, he is also evolved in a new project by Duo Beaudry-Prudhomme
Nicolas grew up with the family repertoire and the songs collected by his father. His passion for traditional music led him to Ireland and France, where he learned to play the hurdy-gurdy. A young, talented and charismatic musician, Nicolas has been active on the folk circuit for the last ten years, starting out with Ad vielle que Pourra and MontcorbieR. Alongside Olivier Demers, he recorded the album Le vent du nord est toujours fret… , which was the genesis of the group Le Vent du Nord. He has also worked alongside several other artists such as the jazz septet Ovo, Les Batinses, Dobacaracol, Les Zapartistes, Benoit Charest and Michel Faubert. He is co-founder & co-organiser of La Veillée de l’avant-Veille (a major dance night event in Montreal now in its 22nd year), and also of the Chants de Vielles festival in Québec.
André Brunet was born in Lacolle, in Québec’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. In 1997, André’s unwavering energy and refined style earned him a spot with La Bottine Souriante, with whom he toured more than 15 countries over the course of 10 years. Although his journey with La Bottine Souriante came to an end in 2006, André remained immersed in traditional music. He joined Le Vent du Nord in 2016. At the Grand Masters Fiddling Competition in 2008, André took home the top award (the first time a Québécois had won this prestigious honour!). Between 2004 and 2017 he toured with De Temps Antan and since 2018, he has been a member of Le Vent du Nord. His passion for traditional Québec music continues to pave the way for dance and swing enthusiasts the world over.
Réjean started playing traditional Québécois music as a very young boy, growing up in the village of Lacolle, Québec. After performing as a duo with his brother André (well-known for his work with La Bottine Souriante and the Celtic fiddle festival) and recording three albums, Réjean joined La Volée d’Castors. He toured with them for 8 years, performing in Europe, Canada and the U.S. and they released 5 albums. Réjean is also frequently invited by traditional musicians such as Sabin Jacques, Richard Forest and Gaston Nolet to join them on stage or in the recording studio. He has been a member of Le Vent du Nord since 2007.
Trained as a violinist and also a 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 (La Bottine Souriante, Cirque du Soleil, Michel Faubert, The Bills, Dany Bédar, Boom Desjardins, Les Ours, Mario Pelchat, Ovo) as well as to compose music for the NFB [National Film Board of Canada] and commercials. He now describes himself as a violoneux (fiddler), having devoted the past ten years of his life to traditional music. He has played with MontcorbieR, was part of the duo Boulerice-Demers (two albums, among which Un peu d’ci, un peu d’ça, was named as Canada’s best traditional music album for 2006) and has been very active in promoting the tradition as co-founder of La Veillée de l’avant-veille, Roues et Archets record label and as co-organiser of the Chants de Vielles festival in Québec. 1000 airs du Québec et de l’Amérique francophone – TOME I