FolkWorld #81 11/2023
© Le Vent du Nord / Songlines

Across the Western Ocean

The Modern Sound of Tradition

Québécois roots band Le Vent du Nord receive Songlines Music Award for the Americas. Award presented by Songlines Magazine in recognition of new album 20 Printemps.


Le Vent du Nord

Artist Video Le Vent du Nord @ FROG

The Québécois roots band Le Vent du Nord is pleased to receive the Songlines Music Award for the Americas, placing them as one of the key groups leading the folk music scene in North America. As Songlines Magazine says, "Le Vent du Nord’s update on French-speaking Canadian folk music is simply joyous". The award was presented today to a powerful class of artists from around the world including Sona Jobarteh, Oumou Sangaré, Abel Selaocoe, and more. The award is in its fifteenth year and annually highlights the best and most innovative artists both overall and within regional areas like the Americas, Europe, Europe, Africa & The Middle East, etc.

Le Vent du Nord has received this award in recognition of the ground-breaking nature of their new album, 20 Printemps, which saw them taking their status as unofficial cultural ambassadors of French Canada seriously. The songs on the new album were both innovative and respectful of tradition, highlighting the cultural history of Québec and the region's long history with Indigenous peoples. The dozen tracks feature many of the band’s trademarks: the call-and-response vocals, sublime harmonies, energetic podorythmie (foot tapping) and hurdy gurdy playing that drive the rhythm of the tunes!

The award winning and highly acclaimed band Le Vent du Nord are a leading force in Québec’s exciting and progressive Francophone folk movement. The group’s vast repertoire draws from both traditional sources and original compositions, while their highly rhythmic and soulful music, rooted in the Celtic diaspora, is enhanced with a broad range of global influences.

Le Vent Du Nord

Artist Audio Le Vent Du Nord "20 Printemps", IDLA, 2022

Since first launching in August 2002, Le Vent du Nord have enjoyed meteoric success, performing well over 2,000 concerts over 4 continents and racking up several prestigious awards, including a Grand Prix du Disque Charles Cros, two Junos (Canada’s Grammys), two Felix at ADISQ, a Canadian Folk Music Award, and major recognition as “Artist of the Year” at Folk Alliance Annual Gala.

The group regularly appear on Canadian, American, French, and UK television and radio and have participated in a wide variety of special musical projects that exhibit their great finesse and flexibility. They’ve collaborated and performed with a diverse range of artists including: Harry Manx, Väsen, Dervish, The Chieftains, Breton musical pioneer Yann-Fañch Kemener, Québécois roots legend and master storyteller Michel Faubert, the Scottish folk band Breabach, Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis, and the trans-Mediterranean ensemble Constantinople.

Le Vent du Nord look beyond the standard approaches to tradition in their collaborations and they’ve also created a symphonic concert that, according to Voir Montreal, “puts all traditional folk naysayers to shame.”

On stage these five friends create intense, joyful and dynamic live performances that expand the bounds of tradition in striking global directions. This is the modern sound of tradition, a music of the here and now.

Okra Playground

Finland's Best

Artist Video Okra Playground @ FROG


BEST ARTIST: 			Oumou Sangaré

BEST GROUP: 			Divanhana

AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST: 	Sona Jobarteh

AMERICAS: 			Le Vent du Nord

ASIA & PACIFIC: 		Sarathy Korwar

EUROPE: 				Okra Playground

FUSION: 				Abel Selaocoe

Photo Credits: (1) Songlines, (2)-(3) Le Vent du Nord, (4) Okra Playground (unknown/website).

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