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Remarkable Sounds: Francine Desjardins

Photograph showing Francine Desjardins seated with an accordion on her lap, surrounded by her band. A musician with a bass guitar can be seen standing behind her.

Detail from a promotional poster for Francine Desjardins, c. 1975

A pioneering female recording artist who released multiple albums on vinyl, Francine Desjardins (née Marois) was one of the finest musicians to come out of the Montmagny-L’Islet area. Known throughout Quebec for her energetic style and vast repertoire, she certainly did the region proud.

Inspired by the Montagnards Laurentiens radio program and by renowned accordionists Gérard Lajoie, Marcel Messervier and Joseph Messervier, Desjardins began her music career at the age of 8. Listen as she describes her somewhat furtive first steps:

Listen to the interview (FR) with transcript (EN).

Desjardins grew up in L’Islet, in a household where playing and listening to music was the main activity on most evenings. Her brother Gérard played the fiddle and her father was an accordionist. By the age of ten, she knew enough tunes to keep both young and old dancing for hours. From a very young age, she had been an extremely eager learner. This allowed her to develop a rich repertoire that audiences found enchanting.

Watch the video with description (EN).