ORANGE CITY – “Magnetic!” “Unparalleled musicianship!” “We were blown out of the water!”
That’s Le Vent du Nord from Québec – the Wind of the North. They’ll be in Orange City November 10-16, with the public concert Sat., Nov. 16 at 7:30pm at the new performing arts center in Orange City: Unity Christian Knight Center.
Le Vent du Nord is a driving force in progressive folk, capturing the energy of a Saturday night kitchen party by infusing the music of old Québec with a breath of fresh, cosmopolitan air. Since its founding in 2002, Le Vent du Nord has won critical acclaim across Europe and North America. The quartet has performed over 1,000 concerts, racking up several prestigious awards, including two Junos (Canada’s Grammy), a Canadian Folk Music Award, and ‘Artist of the Year’ by the North American Folk Alliance.
The foursome delivers catchy songs and tunes, some taken from the Québec traditional folk repertoire, others original. Their instrumentation is rich and varied: Nicolas Boulerice mesmerizes on the hurdy-gurdy and piano; Simon Beaudry brings vocals, guitar and bouzouki; Olivier Demers serves up energetic violin, guitar, and rhythm; and Réjean Brunet adds the colorful sounds of the accordion.
“It’s not often that communities like ours have the chance to host international ensembles like Le Vent du Nord—let alone for a full week,” said Janine Calsbeek, director of the Orange City Arts Council. She’s delighted that a group from Davenport has purchased tickets for the show, and that 10 schools will participate in workshops and assemblies with Le Vent du Nord.
Through the Orange City Arts Council, Orange City was selected as the one city in Iowa to host the 2013-’15 Arts Midwest World Fest. Eight other cities were selected in eight other Midwestern states. Arts Midwest, a regional arts organization based in Minneapolis, partners with program sponsors like The National Endowment for the Arts and 3M to cover a substantial portion of the cost so that communities like Orange City can enjoy this rich arts experience, said Calsbeek. “It’s a wonderful honor.”
David Fraher, president & CEO of Arts Midwest said, “Our goal is to make meaningful and lasting impressions. Our musicians do not simply perform one evening and leave… but conduct extensive residencies. We want this to be a rich experience for the entire community.”
Le Vent du Nord is the first of four ensembles to visit Orange City over the course of this two-year partnership with Arts Midwest. The other ensembles featured will come from Israel, China, and Brazil.
For more information, contact Calsbeek at 712-707-4885 or ocArts@orangecityiowa.com. For links to Le Vent du Nord, and the week’s schedule, see orangecityarts.net. Tickets may be purchased at Orange City Arts Council, Dove Bookstore and at the door, at $10 adults and $7 students. Children age five and under are free.
Le Vent du Nord tentative schedule
Mon Nov 11:
• Classroom session: Dordt College, Sioux Center
• Assembly/workshop: MOC-Floyd Valley High School, Orange City
• 8:00 pm: Performance at Fruited Plain Cafe, 172 North Main, Sioux Center. Public invited. $2 cover
Tues Nov 12:
• Assembly/workshop for high school and/or middle school students from Unity Christian High, Western Christian High, Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn Community School & Ireton Christian School
• Workshop with Unity Christian orchestra students, Orange City
• 4:30-5:30 pm: Performance/ talk: Northwestern College Chapel, Orange City, for campus community
Wed Nov 13:
• Classroom session: Northwestern College, Orange City
• Assembly/ workshop for elementary and/or middle school students from Orange City Christian School, Boyden-Hull School, Central Lyon School & Heritage Reformed Christian School
Thurs Nov 14:
• Program at Landsmeer Ridge Retirement Community, Orange City
• 8:00 pm: Jam session with Le Vent du Nord & The Usual Suspects, at Old Factory Coffee Shop, 110 4th St. SW, Orange City. Public invited. $2 cover
Fri Nov 15 & Sat Nov 16:
• Special offer: Dine at Orange City’s Blue Mountain & show your concert ticket or mention Le Vent du Nord, and $2 per dinner will be donated to the Orange City Arts Council.
Sat Nov 16:
• 7:30-9:00 pm: CONCERT for the public at Unity Christian Knight Center, 216 Michigan Ave SW, Orange City. General admission tickets $10 adults, $7 students, children age 5 and under free. Tickets at Dove Bookstore, Orange City Arts Council & at the door.
MORE INFO ON Le Vent du Nord’s visit to Orange City;
Acclaimed Le Vent du Nord to perform in Orange City Nov. 10-16
ORANGE CITY – The wind of the north is coming from Canada: Le Vent du Nord.
It’s a week of music from Quebec. North American Folk Alliance ‘Aritst of the Year,’ Le Vent du Nord, is performing at coffee shops, conducting workshops and talking with students November 10-16 in the Orange City area. The week will culminate in a concert Sat., Nov. 16 at 7:30pm at the Unity Christian Knight Center.
The ensemble performs traditional folk tunes from francophone Canada… some more than 400 years old. The four are collectors, of sorts, of musical “antiques,” and attempt to keep “the real soul” of the music, according to Olivier Demers in an interview with National Public Radio.
Tradition says that – in those early years – a village was lucky if it had one fiddler. He would sit in a chair on a table in the middle of the kitchen – the largest room in the house. Traditional percussion was foot-tapping on a special board, usually done by the fiddler, to keep time for people who danced around him.
Demers, who plays fiddle with Le Vent du Nord, pointed out that the music is not exclusively French, but a unique blend of French, Irish and Native American influences, with occasional flavoring from the U.S.
Le Vent du Nord finds musical gems everywhere… like the 90-year-old musician in a farming village who invited them into his kitchen for an evening of learning new – but old – songs.
They’ve also discovered French Canadian “scat” singing, called turlutte… which imitates a flute. It was a way to express joy with no instrument, said Demers. “The early settlers had a hard life. But they had their passion and their joy and the desire to survive,” he told National Public Radio. They created a lovely place called Quebec, and also beautiful music.
Le Vent du Nord has racked up awards across Europe and North American, including two Junos, Canada’s Grammy. The ensemble is spending a week in Orange City through the Orange City Arts Council, in conjunction with Arts Midwest.
The week’s schedule includes assemblies or workshops with students from 10 area schools, a short program at a retirement community, plus several public performances:
• Monday, Nov. 11 at 8:00pm: Performance at Fruited Plain Cafe, 172 North Main, Sioux Center. $2 cover.
• Thursday, Nov. 14 at 8:00pm: Jam session with Le Vent du Nord and Orange City’s The Usual Suspects, Old Factory Coffee Shop, 110 4th St. SW, Orange City. $2 cover.
* Saturday, Nov. 16 at 7:30pm: Concert at Unity Christian Knight Center, 216 Michigan Ave SW, Orange City. Tickets are available at Dove Bookstore, Orange City Arts Council and at the door, at $10 adults, $7 students and free for children 5 and under. Those with Beyond Onstage season passes may sit in a reserved seating area. Other tickets are general admission.