‘Quebec Meets Acadia’ Lewiston Will Welcome Famed French-Canadian Folk Artists Sept. 14
LEWISTON – “Quebec meets Acadia” is the theme of a concert at the Franco-American Heritage Center Sunday, Sept. 14, which showcases several of Canada’s most esteemed folk musicians and dancers.
Scheduled for 2 p.m., the program will feature famed Montreal dance master and multi-instrumentalist Benoit Bourque, formerly of the band Le Vent du Nord, as well as musicians/dancers Helene Bergeron and Louise Arsenault, who formed the female half of the popular Prince Edward Island quartet Barachois. The group gained many Maine fans during performances at the Great Falls Balloon Festival and elsewhere throughout the state prior to disbanding in 2003.
Bourque will be joined by Quebecois colleagues Eric Favreau on fiddle and Sabin Jacques on accordion and piano, both of whom perform with the group Raz-de-Maree (Tidal Wave).
Stage veterans Bergeron and Arsenault will be joined by two of Prince Edward Island’s rising-star folk musicians Paige Gallant, 20, and Caroline Bernard, 25. The female foursome goes by the name of Gadelle, an old Acadian word which translates as “wild berries” while also carrying the connotation of “feisty wench.” Among them, band members play a wide variety of instruments, including accordion, harmonica, guitar, mandolin, bass, piano and pump organ; three are step dancers as well as fiddlers.
Gadelle’s repertoire is similar to that of Bourque’s trio in that it includes lively jigs and reels plus traditional French songs which range in spirit from plaintive and poignant to sassy and amusing. Their music, however, springs from Prince Edward Island’s distinctive Acadian heritage, and, thereby, possesses a slightly different “dialect” from the chansons and dance tunes of their male counterparts from Quebec.
Both groups look forward to having a bit of fun with the Quebec vs. Acadia and guys vs. girls angle.
Admission is $15, $13 for students and senior citizens. Reservations and more information are available by calling the Franco-American Heritage Center box office at 689-2000. The center is at 46 Cedar St.Continuing into the night
Since it is the tradition in Canada for such musical gatherings to carry on well into the night, the Lewiston Library is inviting the public to Callahan Hall, LPL’s third-floor ballroom, later that day for easy French-Canadian contra and square dances led by Bourque. Music will be provided by Favreau and Jacques as well as special guests from Maine’s folk music community and beyond.
The library event will begin at 6:30 and continue through 9 p.m., with all ages invited. Admission is $5 at the door, with no advance reservations. The library is at 200 Lisbon St. For more information, call LPL cultural coordinator Cindy Larock at 513-3050.
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