15 february 2014
This Acadian band mixes rhythms, irresistible dancing
and climbing notes with voices to the sky …
high voltage musicians.
and climbing notes with voices to the sky …
high voltage musicians.
Since the band formed more than ten years ago, it has become one of the most exciting folk bands on the international music scene...won numerous awards and given more than a thousand performances.
“The burning fires of Acadia.” - le télégramme, lorient, France
“ Acadia, queen of the night at the moustoir. Vishtèn gives to the traditional vein a good dose of humour in all spontaneity.” - ouest france, lorient, France
“It’s like Buckwheat Zydeco meets the Irish.The first time i saw them, i loved them!” Pittsburg Irish Festival
Piano Accordion, Piano, Moog, Percussive Dance and Vocals
Composer, dancer and accordionist Pastelle LeBlanc is among the most accomplished Acadian musicians of her generation.
Raised in the heart of the small Francophone village of Mont Carmel, Pastelle was surrounded with traditional music from an early age. By her mid-teens she was touring professionally as an Acadian dancer throughout North America and by her early twenties, Pastelle had mastered her grandfather’s instrument - the accordion. She brings to it a percussive, melodic right hand, indicative of her formal dance background, and with her left hand, a strong sense of harmony that stems from her formal piano training.
As a singer, her rich, gentle mezzo soprano reveals a host of influences - from traditional Acadian, Cajun, Irish and rock. Similarly, her accordion compositions combine elements of traditional and contemporary world music.
Fiddle, Mandolin, Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Vocals
Composer, singer and stringed multi-instrumentalist Pascal Miousse is one of the most accomplished guitarists and fiddle players of his generation.
Equally adept on the fiddle and lead guitar, he is a powerhouse of melodic improvisation and sheer energy, engaging listeners with his unforgettable musical presence. His unique fiddle bowing swing is rooted in the fiddle style of his native Magdalen Islands, but Miousse brings to it a contemporary mastery in approach and execution.
The son of a Magdalen Island guitarist, Pascal home was a common meeting place for traditional musicians. After mastering classical and native musical traditions at an early age, Pascal traveled from his remote island, mainland, in search of other music forms. Soon after he was touring as a multi-instrumentalist and singer in various national Canadian acts encompassing a wide array of genres - from traditional folk, swing, rock, soul and blues.
A seasoned touring musician, two decades of diverse international performances has led Pascal to over ten countries, three continents and countless festivals and venues. In addition to performing with Vishtèn, he has shared stages and recorded many international touring artists. His music has been showcased on American television, Japanese film and most recently in the Quebecois biopic on Louis Cyr.
The Acadian band that mixes rhythms or irresistible dancing and climbing notes and voices to the sky ... high voltage musicians” - -Le guéret, France
“Rhythms, melodies, voices, musicianship...a near perfect ensemble. Vishtèn, what a world!” - le petit douchynois, France
In the North Atlantic Ocean, in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence off of Canada's east coast, lays tiny Prince Edward Island and nearby, the even smaller archipelago known as the Magdalen Islands. Both Islands have a shared history and cultural tie that dates back several centuries and tells a story of early French Acadian settlers seeking a better life in the new world. In their quest to survive, many of these settlers eventually became fishermen and carried with them their musical traditions as a means of celebrating their survival. There still exists today a small enclave in Prince Edward Island where the French culture is predominant while the Magdalen Islands still remains primarily French.
There has been a musical connection between these two places for centuries, traded back and forth through trips made on fishing boats in the old days and marriages among the French people which have taken place over the years. A musical marriage that embodies the spirit and the sound of this connection in the present is the contemporary Acadian traditional group Vishtèn. Today the three members who make up Vishtèn, Pastelle and Emmanuelle LeBlanc and Pascal Miousse have become a distinctive and powerful international voice for traditional music from this part of the world.
All three members are direct descendants of the first colonial families that inhabited their respective islands and all members are second generation traditional musicians. Twin sisters Emmanuelle and Pastelle LeBlanc were raised on Prince Edward Island and grew up in a household where fiddle music and percussive dancing was a common part of everyday life. Similarly, Magdalen Islander Pascal Miousse’s home was a frequent meeting place for traveling fiddlers and music sessions.
From their traditional roots these three creative island musicians have been crafting their own brand of neo-traditional music and a trademark sound that combines original compositions, traditional French-Acadian songs with driving rhythms. All highly accomplished multi-instrumentalists and singers, their unique blend of fiddle, guitar, accordion, harmonium, whistles, piano, bodhrán, jaw harp, moog, electric guitar and percussive dance make for a unique tour de force of traditional and contemporary sounds.
Whistles, Bodhrán, Piano, Jaw Harp, Percussive Dance, Moog, Vocals
Composer and dancer Emmanuelle LeBlanc is one of the most accomplished female multi-instrumentalists in folk music today.
As a percussionist, she is a widely recognized master of podorythmie [the traditional French Canadian method of tapping ones feed during musical performances] and was touring internationally as a professional percussive dancer by the age of fifteen.
Emmanuelle has a wide range of electric and acoustic instruments in her arsenal, each played with stunning proficiency and innovation.
Raised in the musically-rich Evangeline region of Prince Edward Island, Emmanuelle grew up on the traditional instrumentals of her people. She has pioneered her melodic instrument of choice - the tin whistle - in both Acadian music and has become its chief exponent throughout Canada. Her whistle playing is a firey amalgamation of traditional Acadian, Cajun, Irish, classical and rock influences. Also an expert harmony singer of note, her elegant mezzo soprano represents a broad pallet of musical styles.
This concert series is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.