Bon Debarras, an award-winning trio from Montreal, takes to The Myrna Loy stage in Helena Thursday, May 5, and performs Friday, May 6, at The Ellen in Bozeman.
Expect a delightful, high-energy evening of traditional Quèbècois fiddle, step-dancing, banjo and harmonica fused with spoken-word, slam poetry, and body percussion.
The group will play tunes from their Reperes album, which just won Quebec Music Council’s Felix Award for Best Traditional Music Album of the Year.
Group co-founder Dominique Desrochers describes their performance as “a journey of storytelling, poetry, dance, movement, energetic music and also the deeper energy of ballads – with a lot of vocals and movement.”
On guitar, banjo, violin and harmonica, the group carries an identity, a style and an energy-filled zest for life that’s quite unique.
Their music goes beyond just entertainment, says Bon Debarras’ other co-founder, Jean-Francois Dumas. “The music we carry forward is traditional. Transmitting something is at the core of what we do.”
Multi-instrumentalist Desrochers is a talented step dancer or gigueur (jigger), who is also known for using his body as a percussion instrument. Dumas is an international traveler fascinated with music from around the world and also a multi-instrumentalist.
The newest member of the trio, Veronique Plasse, contributes viola and violin and a rich knowledge of Quèbec’s traditional music.
The name Bon Debarras means “good riddance” in French, and Desrochers says it aptly describes their musical aspirations. “We get rid of sorrow and sadness when we play our music.”
The name has a second meaning, as well. “It means a place where you put your old stuff that you don’t want to get rid of … like an attic. These things can become treasures.”
Helena: 7:30 p.m. May 5 at The Myrna Loy. Tickets are $24 and are available at 15 N. Ewing St. and online. For more information, call 406-443-0287.
Bozeman: 7:30 p.m. May 6 at The Ellen. Tickets are $24, and available online. Call 406-585-5885 for details.