Le Vent du Nord, Quebec folk group, to blow into SAC

Meghan Schmitt, Culture Editor

The opening act for the 2018-2019 Dana Center season is the Quebecois group Le Vent du Nord (North Wind), who will perform on Saturday, Sept. 29.  

Formed in 2002, Le Vent Du Nord is comprised of five performers: Nicolas Boulerice, Simon Beaudry, Olivier Demers, Réjean Brunet, and Andre Brunet, all of which hail from the Canadian province of Quebec. 

They have released eight albums and have toured across five continents. Their success has been described as “meteoric,” and they have performed more than 1,800 concerts.  

This group was chosen personally by new Dana Center Cultural Programming Director, Joseph Deleault.  In his previous interview with the Crier, he stressed the need for a stronger Franco-American presence on campus.

When asked to elaborate, Deleault replied, “What defines our community? The people who live in it, work in it and play in it. The west side of Manchester was once known as “little Canada” because of its overwhelmingly French-Canadian population.”

Many of those families still live not only in “Little Canada” but also in Goffstown. 

He continued by stating, “I am of French-Canadian descent and have a passion for continuing and preserving the foundations of our community, and celebrating the rich culture that was and is so prevalent today.”

Le Vent Du Nord gives “hard-driving, soulful music rooted in the Celtic (Breton) diaspora,” thanks to their use of button accordion, guitar, and fiddle.  Musician Boulerice plays the hurdy-gurdy, an odd, centuries-old instrument which adds an “earthy, rough-hewn flavor to even the most buoyant dance tunes,” according to a review published by the Boston Herald.     

Deleault believes this event to be as successful as their previous appearance at the college last fall, adding, “Le Vent Du Nord is a party band that is sure to get anyone tapping their feet, clapping their hands, and leaping out of their seats in excitement.”

Though labeled as a party band, Le Vent Du Nord has earned some prestigious awards, including two Junos, the Canadian equivalent of the Grammy award.  They have also won a Félix at the Association Québécoise de l’Industrie du Disque, a Canadian Folk Music Award, and an accolade for “Artist of the Year” at the North American Folk Alliance Annual Gala.   

Le Vent Du Nord was featured in the Boston Globe as part of their “Top Ten Folk Albums of 2009” series.  In 2009, the LA Times also placed them in high contention as one of the top ten international albums of the year.  The Guardian described their music as “a classy and rousing set by Quebec folk heroes.”

When asked why he thought students would love this group, Deleault stressed, “With hard-driving fiddles, masterful guitar work, brilliant songwriting (en Francais), and the mesmerizing hurdy-gurdy, Le Vent Du Nord is sure to please every listener while hammering home those fiddle tunes as our ancestors and many of us heard long ago, and still love today. This will be a night to remember. Don’t miss it. They make their triumphant return after they left Dana Center audiences begging for more.”

Be sure to see Le Vent Du Nord, Saturday, Sept. 29, at 7:30 p.m. Call for tickets today at 603.641.7700 or stop by the box office M-F from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased online at tickets.anselm.edu.