Gaétan Morrissette

Gaétan Morrissette

Quebec (Portneuf)

Gaétan was born into a family from Portneuf County, where traditional music is very much alive. Both his parents played the accordion, his grandmother the organ and piano, his great-grandmother the piano and his great-grandfather the violin.

He learned to play the accordion at the age of 5, and began playing the violin 13 years later, first with fiddlers and then at local galas. Other instruments followed: Irish banjo, Anglo concertina, guitar, guitalélé and mallet drum. He collected numerous tunes during his visits to the elderly. Some of them have been published by La Grande Sélection de l’École de Musique Denys-Arcand de Deschambault-Grondines (EMDA). He perfected his repertoire by learning different styles on trips to Quebec, Ontario and Vermont.

Festival schedule

Chronology of the journey of a guardian of tradition…

In 2005, he began researching Portneuf County mallet drums. He also makes them using ancient techniques. His discoveries led him to publish a website on the subject.

In 2007, he formed the Morissette-Dumont duo. In 2009, they joined Gaëtan and Jacqueline Lefebvre in the group Les Bottes Sauvages. In 2010, he formed the trio Les Ruine-Bottines, which played in Vermont, and has been touring Quebec and Ontario ever since.

In 2009, the Portneuf MRC awarded him a Porteur de Tradition prize for his work on these instruments of Irish origin. He also represented the Portneuf region at the regional gala (Prix du Patrimoine) of the Québec-Chaudière-Appalaches region. Also in 2009, he organized the Journée des Tambours de Portneuf in Donnacona.

In 2010, he travelled to Ireland to continue his research, and gave a workshop in Limerick. He also visited musicians from County Clare and other traditional musicians in France.

In 2010, he co-founded the Société des Arts Traditionnels de Portneuf. The organization has since produced 10 editions of the Festival des Tambours de Portneuf. In 2012, he met musicians from Louisiana and gave a school workshop in Lafayette.

In 2014, he took part in a St. Patrick’s Day show in Toronto with Steafan Hannigan and Saskia Tomkins.

And in 2024, he honors us with his participation in the 20th edition of Chants de Vielles!

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