Skip to main content

A Desire to Share

Many of the artists who perform at the Carrefour mondial de l’accordéon are committed to passing on their knowledge of traditional accordion music and techniques. This is certainly true of Newfoundlanders Bernard Félix and Frank Maher, as well as Sabin Jacques of Quebec.

Bernard Félix

Close-up colour photograph of Bernard Félix and his accordion, with the neck of a bass guitar in the background.

Bernard Félix at the Carrefour mondial de l’accordéon in 1998

Bernard Félix is a musician dedicated to carrying on Newfoundland’s French accordion tradition, which traces its roots to the late 18th century. He started playing accordion at the age of nine, and the instrument quickly became an extension of his body. Not even an accident leading to the amputation of one of his fingers could separate him from his accordion. A nephew of fiddler Émile Benoît, he began teaching young Newfoundlanders at École Notre-Dame-Du-Cap in 2007.

Bernard Félix, La Gigue aux pieds vifs – To know more 

Frank Maher

An Newfoundland music icon, Frank Maher played the festival in 2006. Born St. John’s, he learned to play the diatonic accordion from his mother and from Frank Stamp, a local accordionist. While working as a manager and bartender at the Harbour Inn, a popular music venue, he played alongside numerous local and international artists. Over the years, he became a source of inspiration for young Newfoundland musicians. Very community-minded, he regularly played at benefit concerts for various charitable organizations. In recognition of his major contribution to Canadian culture, he received the Tradition Bearer Award from the Goderich Celtic Roots Festival in 2002. He also received the 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award from the St. John’s Folk Arts Council.

Frank Maher and his band Mahers Bahers—(captions available in both FR and EN) View the video with a description

Sabin Jacques

Colour photograph of Sabin Jacques sitting in a chair with his accordion on his knee, tapping his feet to the rhythm of the music as he plays.

Sabin Jacques at the Carrefour mondial de l’accordéon in 2013

Well-rooted in the world of Quebec traditional music, accordionist Sabin Jacques uses an original technique that allows him to deliver amazing performances as a left-handed player. Influenced by musicians like Marcel Messervier and Alfred Montmarquette, he is an accomplished player who shares his experience with amateurs and professionals alike. In 1997, he won a bronze medal at the Jeux de la Francophonie in Madagascar. He is the founder of Marée Musique, an organization that runs an annual traditional music camp. He has toured with Édith Butler and he just finished recording an album with Rachel Aucoin that features compositions by Philippe Bruneau, a well-known accordionist and composer of traditional Quebec music.

Sabin Jacques, Un Canadian Errant – To know more