Here is a by-no-means complete list of resources for those of you interested in knowing more about Québécois music and dance, and where it’s happening in Québec!
REPERTORY RESOURCES — RÉPERTOIRE
The Virtual Gramophone, an online catalogue at Library and Archives Canada, where you can listen to more than 15,000 historic 78rpm Canadian recordings, including a LOT of traditional music from Québec. Look for French names and/or do searches with terms such as “reel,” “quadrille,” “cotillon,” “valse,” “gigue,” etc. There are also a scattering of artist biographies.
Identitairs québécois, a website which includes references and recordings of 439 tunes from the traditional Quebecois repertoire (look under Répertoire).
Erskine Morris: Old-Time Fiddle Music from the Gaspé Coast, a marvelous blog from Glen Patterson and Brian Morris about a truly exceptional Gaspé fiddler, Erskine Morris of Douglastown, QC. Includes all kinds of resources. A wonderful blog which includes wonderful film footage, photos, and recordings of traditional
Tradquebec Blog, a blog from fiddler Pascal Gemme (from Genticorum) with discussion and sheet music for many tunes.
On-Line Sound Recordings from the Bibliothèque des archives nationales du Québec (Quebec’s National Archives Library). This collection includes many 78rpms from Québécois traditional instrumentalists and singers.
Les Danseurs et musiciens de l’Île Jésus. Montreal-region folk dance troupe fiddler Germain Leduc has been posting recordings and pdfs of tunes played by Les Danseurs et musicians de l’Île Jésus since 2009. This collection is quite eclectic, borrowing from many different fiddle traditions outside Québec as well as featuring Québécois repertory.
Acadian Fiddle, a new website created by Devon and Louis Léger, celebrating and exploring the lives and music of Acadian fiddlers from throughout the Maritimes provinces and the Magdelan Islands of Quebec. A terrific new resource!
BIOGRAPHIES OF MUSICIANS AND ARTICLES ABOUT THE MUSIC
The Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. Lots of entries about traditional music and musicians here.
ON-LINE RECORD AND BOOK SALES
Trente sous Zéro, which for many years was the major on-line store for all things trad, has shut its virtual doors. Owner Guy Bouchard transferred his inventory of records, books, and DVDs to CRAPO (see under ORGANIZATIONS for more information) and they plan to re-establish the service some time later in 2016.
The Centre, Mnémo, AQLF, SPTDQ, and CVPV also have on-line inventories (see below for more information and web addresses).
ORGANIZATIONS in QUÉBEC
La Société pour la Promotion de la Danse Traditionnelle Québécoise (SPDTQ), (the Society for the Promotion of French-canadian Traditional Dance), a clearing house for traditional music and dance in the Montréal region, including classes, workshops, dances, jams, concerts, CDs, and the latest news. n excellent place to take classes to buy CDs, or get the latest news.
Centre de valorisation du patrimoine vivant (CVPV, the Center for Folklife), same as SPDTQ, but for the Québec City region.
Mnémo, a site compiling various publications, documents and archives on french-canadian traditional music, dance, signing and story telling — a must-see!
L’Association québcoise des loisirs folklorique (AQLF) (the Quebecois Association on Folkloric Pastimes) is a treasure trove of information and resources for all those interested in Québécois music and dance.
CRAPO, a wonderful cultural resource center (bistro, bar, concert space, theatre) presenting shows, films, discussions, jam sessions, you name it! Located in St-Jean-de-Matha, about 35 miles northwest of Joliette, QC. A great place to take in a concert, have a meal, a beer, and listen to or play music.
MUSIC CAMPS in QUEBEC
Violon Trad Québec: annual week-long camp in St-Côme, QC (about 50 miles north of Montréal), organized by André Brunet, Stéphanie Lépine and Éric Beaudry. Instruction at many levels in fiddle, guitar, piano, etc. Held in late July in the week running up to Mémoire et Racines festival. You would fly into Montréal and I think that the camp helps to organize transportation to the camp.
Camp musical Souche à oreilles: annual four-day music camp on the last week-end of August, with workshops, evening dances, sessions and concerts in a family friendly atmosphere in beautiful St-Alexandre-de-Kamouraska (about 2.5 hours east of Quebec City), run by Rachel Aucoin and Sabin Jaques of Tidal Wave. Classes of levels introduction to expert in the widest instrument offering: FIDDLE, ACCORDION, STEPDANCE, GUITAR, PIANO, YOUTH workshops. You would fly into Quebec City and Rachel arranges transportation from there to the camp.
DANCES in QUEBEC
In Montréal, Les Veillées du Plateau: From September to April, this every-third-Saturday monthly dance features superb callers and great musicians. Doors open at 7pm, dance lesson at 7:30 p.m., dancing from 7:30pm to half past midnight! At 2275, boul. St-Joseph, Est. General admission $17.
Les Danseurs et musiciens de l’Île Jesus. If you head northwest from downtown Montreal and cross the Rivière-des-Prairies, you’ll be on Laval Island, the biggest suburb of Montreal and home to Les Danseurs et musicians de l’Île Jesus. This folk dance and music organization has been in operation since the late 1970s and sponsors a regular Friday-night evening of Québécois dance from 8-10:15pm. These dances take place at the Centre de création artistique, 430 -5e Rue, Laval-des-Rapides and are learner-friendly. Calling in French by Gérard Morin. Admission is $8. Visit the site for current information about these dances.
In Québec City, the Centre de valorisation du patrimoine vivant (CVPV, see above for link) organizes monthly dances from October through April. Great callers, wonderful musicians, in a beautiful historic site (Le Domaine des Maizerets),, 2000, boulevard Montmorency.
JAM SESSIONS in QUEBEC
The Albion, in Joliette (about 50 miles north of Montréal): Every Thursday evening (excepting the summer months) at 7pm, the rafters ring with traditional music. A welcoming session which often includes some of the region’s best musicians! 408, boul. Manseau.
Pub Nelligan’s, in Quebec City. Every Tuesday evening, an Irish/Québécois session, at 789, Cote Sainte-Geneviève. 418-529-7817.
L’Escalier, in Montréal. Every Monday evening, an Irish /Québécois session, beginning at 9pm. 552, rue Sainte-Catherine est, 2nd floor. 514.419.6609
JAM SESSIONS in the U.S.
In Portland, OR: every first Tuesday of the month, from 7-10pm. This jam is learner-friendly and is hosted by members of the PDX Québécois Jam E-list at private homes in and around Portland. For more information or to join the list, contact Lisa Ornstein.
In Olympia, WA: every third Thursday of the month, from 7-9pm. This jam is learner-friendly and is hosted by members of the Olympia Québécois Jam E-list at private homes around Olympia. For more information, contact Nancy Hanna, at email@example.com.
In Seattle, WA: every second Wednesday of the month, from 7-10pm at someone’s house, and folks are encouraged to bring some snacks and drinks to share.To join, subscribe to https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/quebecnw/info.
FESTIVALS in QUEBEC
Festival Mémoires et racines (Memories and Roots): Joliette’s annual trad folk festival, a wonderful, small-scale week-end festival with a single main stage and many small stages. Campgrounds, food on site, incredibly magical! Last week-end of July.
Traditional Fiddle Festival Sutton: this annual festival is a newcomer (in its 2nd year), founded by Pascal Gemme, the fiddler from Genticorum. Held in Sutton (in Québec’s Eastern Townships) in mid-August, this festival features Québécois music as well as music from other traditions. There are several workshops and free shows (2014: 6 workshops and 15 hours of concerts including over 10 hours of free concerts), camping and some B&B accommodation as well.
Carrefour mondial de l’accordéon (World Accordion Crossroads): an annual Labor Day week-end festival celebrating the accordion’s many international styles, instruments, and repertories, held in Montmagny (about 50 minutes east of Quebec City on the south shore of the St. Lawrence). A great festival! Includes dances, workshops, a museum, loads of concerts, and live music in every restaurant in town
Rendezvous ès TRAD: Quebec City’s annual trad festival held on the Columbus Day week-end with wonderful concerts, workshops, dances, and other events. I think this is the 2014 webpage, so there may be a different webpage for 2015.