Traditional French-Canadian Dance Music

Traditional French-Canadian Dance Music

Can anyone recommend some good CD’s? Thanks

Re: Traditional French-Canadian Dance Music

Start with the CommandoTrad videos on Youtube - they’re GREEEEEEEAATT !!

Re: Traditional French-Canadian Dance Music

Is there a particular regional style you are looking for? Acadian? Quebcois?
One of my favourite CD’s is “11:11” from Vishten (PEI) and I second the suggestion about Genticorum. I’ve seen both groups live and they are just fantastic! Also, you might want to check out “Music from Québec and Acadie” from La Famille Leger ( Great stuff! I must admit, this section of my collection is a bit lacking so I am interested in what others have to suggest 🙂

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Re: Traditional French-Canadian Dance Music

Here’s where you get the stuff:

And I also highly recommend La Famille Léger. Great people !

Re: Traditional French-Canadian Dance Music

Thanks to you all…. I’m off to inflict grievous harm on my credit card.
Guernsey Pete…. Thanks… in fact, it’s those videos that sparked my interest in the genre.

Re: Traditional French-Canadian Dance Music

No one mentioned La Bottine Souriante yet…….. so I’ll do it.

Re: Traditional French-Canadian Dance Music

Yves Lambert et Les Beberts Orchestra
Gilles Vigneault
Tireux de Roches
Reve du Diable
Freres Brunet
Freres Beaudry
Richard Forest
Benoit Bourque
Galant, Tu Perds Ton Temps plus many more

Re: Traditional French-Canadian Dance Music

Oh, don’t forget Les Charbonniers d’Enfer - who’s who in Quebecois musicians

Dent de Lion
Le Vent du Nord
Gaston Nolet
Montmarquette (hommage a)
etc. etc. etc.

Re: Traditional French-Canadian Dance Music

I was trying out a banjo in a local music store once and ended up playing a couple of tunes with a member of Genticorum who was visiting. Lotsa fun and a nice guy.
(apropos of nothing, and name-dropping I suppose…)

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Re: Traditional French-Canadian Dance Music

This is a very large subject, music from ‘French Speaking Canada’, and includes all of the Maritimes, including Cape Breton Island, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Îles de la Madeleine, Quebec, and stretching the full length of the continent from East to West… Here’s another source ~

Re: Traditional French-Canadian Dance Music

Generally considered a must, for a start ~

Fiddle ~ Jean Carignan

"Archives 1, 2 & 3"

"French Canadian, Irish And Scottish Fiddle Music"

"Jean Carignan Plays The Music Of Coleman, Morrison And Skinner"

Accordion ~ Phillippe Bruneau

"Philippe Bruneau: Accordéon Diatonique / Diatonic Accordion"

Traditional French-Canadian Dance Music ~ free listens, MP3s

Library and Archives Canada
The Virtual Gramophone: Canadian Historical Sound Recordings
Discographical information & audio files: RA RealAudio & MP3
Library and Archives Canada

Le Gramophone Virtuel / The Virtual Gramophone:
Canadian Historical Sound Recordings


Collection Search

Collection Search ~ complete digital collection - sorted by performer

Gigue De Touristes



A few MP3s as examples

"Reel De L’aveugle"

"Quadrille Quadrille français"

"Quadrille des Montagnards"?

Re: Traditional French-Canadian Dance Music

Thanks to everyone who chimed in, I am going to have to check some new things out myself!
Amen to the recommendation for Le Vent Du Nord, a very popular group right now, whose disks are pretty easy to find. Outstanding playing, great accordion work, lovely singing and some great arrangements.
And another amen on the recommendation for La Bottine Souriant, a personal favorite. Their album La Mistrine is a good starting point, and they also have some ‘greatest hit’ compilations available. A word of warning though—they are a trad band with a jazz horn section appended to it, kind of like a trad version of Blood, Sweat and Tears, the old jazz-rock band. So their stuff is not pure drop—but it is lots of fun.

Re: Traditional French-Canadian Dance Music

Add Les Chauffeurs a Pieds to the mix…

Re: Traditional French-Canadian Dance Music

Thanks to "Pennhorse" and "jsmith" for the "La Famille Léger" recommendation. Thanks also to all those that provided info on so many great CD’s. There are also many festivals where you can hear the music "live". Two that I would recommend are "Festival du Bois" on the West Coast and Mémoires et Racines" on the East Coast.

Re: Traditional French-Canadian Dance Music

Try Bruno Kowalczyk…….plays excellent traditional


Re: Traditional French-Canadian Dance Music

If you’re interested in learning some of this wonderful music, there is a terrific resource in the blog site of Pascal Gemme, fiddler with the outstanding Quebecois band Genticorum:

On his blog, there are mp3 files and sheet music for dozens of traditional tunes from the Quebecois traditional repertoire.

Also, if anyone is interested in taking this further, Andre Brunet from De Temps Antan runs a traditional fiddle camp for Quebecois music the third week of July each year - and it’s not just for fiddles. Other melody instruments are welcome, as are piano and guitar accompanists.

There are also several festivals in Quebec for traditional music and dance: Festival Memoire et Racines, Chants de Vielles, Le Grand Rencontre, and more. If you’re wanting a great summer vacation, Quebec is your destination! Also, Franco-American fiddler Donna Hebert does a French Accent fiddle camp week in New York State.

Many of the Ontario festivals also showcase at least one Quebecois band every year - check out Goderich Celtic College and Festival, Mariposa Folk Festival, Millrace and Summerfolk. The bands, Genticorum, Le Vent Du Nord, Les Chauffeurs a Pieds, De Temps Antan, Claude Methe, and others, have showcased at those festivals in recent years.

In Montreal, there are monthly trad. dances (see and there is a weekly session at Vices et Versa bistro on St. Laurent (Tuesday nights, September to May, beginning at about 9 p.m. - but get there earlier to get a seat!) This session was being lead this year by Veronic Plasse (a.k.a. Pitoune Boudreault of CommandoTrad fame) while Pascal Gemme is on paternity leave.

Do watch for more CommandoTrad videos coming up on Youtube - there will be an awesome one featuring musicians who attended Memoire et Racines and other Quebec festivals this past summer (2010), which will be published on YouTube later on in September.

Have fun with this awesome music everyone! Take it to your local session and pass the sheet music around. These tunes are way too good to be only played in a few sessions in Quebec!