French Music in Montreal: Coup de coeur

Posted on November 8th, 2009 by .

I think there’s a certain pleasure in listening to local music when you travel. If I had the choice between seeing Lady Gaga in Prague or hearing some Czech jazz musicians, I would definitely go for the second option, since it’s a unique experience to see local artists that might never make it to Montreal. The same applies for visitors coming to Montreal for the first time. Even if you don’t speak French, seeing a concert in French is a great way to discover the city’s arts and culture scene. If you’re visiting Montreal and want to check out some local music and see what the French music scene is like, then don’t miss Coup de coeur francophone.
Read the full story to find my picks for this year’s edition.

There is the FrancoFolies festival in the summer that highlights internationally acclaimed French musicians, but there’s also another great event held in the fall called the COUP DE COEUR FRANCOPHONE. The Coup de coeur francophone is an event dedicated to all francophone artists, both local and international, and it’s also a road trip of sort that brings together musicians from all across Canada, from Toronto to Alberta, and Manitoba to Vancouver.

There are lot of amazing acts to watch out for as the program includes renowned musicians from Quebec, France, Switzerland and Canada. After flipping through the 2009 edition program, I have to admit I didn’t recognize a lot of the bands – even as a local who speaks French, so it’ll be a surprise for me to hear some new groups as well. On November 8, 13 and 14, Pierre Lapointe (you might remember I TOLD YOU ABOUT HIS NEW ALBUM earlier this year) will be giving a series of midnight solo piano performances at the exquisite art deco theatre, the Lion d’Or. This talented French singer and musician has an unforgettable voice, and his latest release is the perfect mix between classic French pop and David Bowie’s glam rock style.

Starting at 10 p.m., the series ‘Au coeur de la nuit’ highlights new local bands, mostly alternative musicians who give their take on pop, punk and indie rock. At Divan Orange on St. Laurent Blvd, you can catch Mystik Motorcycles, Chiendent, Polipe and Mimi Vanderglow; at Bistro In Vivo, in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Philippe B and Émilie Proulx are taking over the place, while Jesuslesfilles, Mille Monarques and Otarie will be performing at L’Escogriffe, on St. Denis Street, in the Plateau.

Other hot acts to check out for this year’s Coup de coeur include: Les Ogres de Barback and MeLL from France, as well as Jérémie Kisling and the Gypsy Soundystem, from Switzerland. The opening band, Urs Karpatz, will be performing songs in Romani to the sounds of gypsy music influenced by jazz and folk. For full details, including schedules and ticket prices, check out COUP DE COEUR’S WEBSITE.


  1. Robert

    / Sep 18th

    Can you suggest venues in Montreal where we can hear tradition Quebecois music like Le Vent Du Nord? We will be visiting Montreal and Quebec City October 28 to November 6 and would like check out some local music.

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