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Influencers Long Before the Age of Social Media

Alfred Couillard, Lorenzo Picard and Joseph Messervier were influencers long before the digital age. Offering young and old alike the benefit of their skills and goodwill, they left a musical legacy by serving as role models to many local musicians. Learn more about their achievements below:

Black and white photograph of Philippe Bruneau sitting on a piano bench, accordion in hand. Alfred Couillard, Lorenzo Picard and Joseph Messervier are watching him play. Several microphones have been placed in front of them.

Philippe Bruneau, Alfred Couillard, Lorenzo Picard and Joseph Messervier, 1979

Alfred Couillard

For more than 40 years, Alfred Couillard criss-crossed the region with his accordion, keeping audiences dancing ’til dawn. The great Quebec accordionist Philippe Bruneau once insisted that his friend Alfred “still had a lot to teach him!” Couillard’s mastery of the instrument made him an idol of Ulric Lacombe and other accordionists from the Montmagny area. Watch a passionate performance by this musician who hailed from the town of L’Islet:

Watch the video with description (EN).

Lorenzo Picard

Lorenzo Picard dazzled audiences with his Pine Tree accordion, known locally as à trois sapins. Mastering complex pieces composed by renowned accordionists like Joseph Guillemette, Alfred Montmarquette and Théodore Duguay, he kept everyone from newlyweds to seniors dancing through long summer evenings. The sound of both the accordion and the fiddle echoed through his family home. He had a strong influence on the local community, where many accordionists have adopted his style, as well as in various other parts of Quebec. To this day, “Lorenzo Picard’s Polka” remains a favourite.

Watch the video with description (EN). 

Joseph Messervier

Recognized as the father of the accordion in the Montmagny area, Joseph Messervier influenced many local musicians. Armand Labrecque and André Labonté both credited the “King of the Accordion” with shaping how they play. Some lucky souls even had the opportunity to hear him play at home, sometimes secretly recording the show. As he often said before a performance: “I’m going to make the windows shake!”

Have a listen:

Watch the video with description (EN).