Le Vent du Nord (The North Wind) is an award-winning quartet that captures the energy and mirth of a Saturday night kitchen party, infusing old Quebec with a breath of fresh, cosmopolitan air. The four master musicians create fiery and fun sounds on violin and vielle-a-roue (hurdy gurdy), accompanied by concertina (button accordion), guitar and foot stomping, of course…and let’s not forget their glorious vocal harmonies! They mesh old songs learnt from the forgotten song keepers of French Canada with original reels and tunes inspired by family traditions and the sounds of Ireland, Scotland, and medieval France. This is music guaranteed to get you up on your feet and dancing!
The group began by chance when, in 2002, a fire alarm brought musicians Nicolas Boulerice and Olivier Demers out of their practice rooms at music school. Boulerice noticed Demers, fiddle in hand, and asked him if he knew any old tunes. Demers who, these days, also performs with Cirque de Soleil, answered yes, and Le Vent du Nord was born. They eventually joined up with Simon Beaudry, a multi-instrumentalist from one of Quebec’s most musical villages, and accordionist Réjean Brunet, who hails from a musical family in a small town near the U.S. border.
Le Vent du Nord’s latest album, TÊTU, blends self-written and traditional pieces, all bound together by the band's seamless energy and sense of innovation. It was recently nominated in the new “Americas” category (alongside recordings by Punch Brothers, Lila Downs and Tom & Ben Paley) for the prestigious Songlines Music Awards 2016. Voted by the UK magazine’s contributors, readers and the general public, these awards celebrate the myriad of musical talent across the world.