tabbed child pages

The band


For over a decade, the Acadian trio Vishtèn has dazzled audiences with its fiery blend of traditional French songs and original instrumentals that fuse Celtic and Acadian genres with a modern rock sensibility and indie-folk influences. Lauded as “traditional but fiercely up-to-the- moment” (Penguin Eggs), this band from Canada’s east coast has been recognized as an ambassador of Francophone culture around the world.

The trio comprises multi-instrumentalists Emmanuelle and Pastelle LeBlanc from the Evangeline Region of Prince Edward Island, and Magdalen Islands’ native, Pascal Miousse. Cradled in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, in the North Atlantic Ocean, Prince Edward Island is home to a small but thriving a Francophone Acadian community with a rich tradition of song and instrumental music. Nearby, the even smaller archipelago of the Magdalen Islands (les Îles de la Madeleine) is predominantly Francophone, recognized for its distinctive French dialect, songs and unique fiddling style. All three members of Vishtèn were raised in homes in which traditional music, percussive dance and kitchen parties were part of everyday life. Together, they pay homage to their traditions and to the historic and strong musical connections between their two island Acadian communities.

From their traditional roots, these three “high voltage musicians” (Le Guéret, France) have crafted a unique brand of neo-traditional music that combines extensive archival research, original compositions, traditional French Acadian songs and virtuosic instrumentals. The infectious rhythms of tapping feet and lilting mouth music blend seamlessly with the fiddle, guitar, accordion, octave mandolin, whistles, piano, bodhrán and jaw harp to offer a musical experience that illustrates their wide sense of the world and breathes new energy and beauty into traditional sounds. Vishtèn’s energetic shows have been described as “Buckwheat Zydeco meets the Irish” (Pittsburgh News) and their innovative blend of old and new has been acclaimed as “[wrapping] up those musical traditions in a bright wrapper that has the heft of tradition but the exuberance of pop” (SingOut!).

In addition to their work with Vishtèn, Pastelle, Emmanuelle and Pascal are prolific composers and accomplished solo artists. Their original tunes and musical contributions can be heard on numerous releases by fellow trad and folk musicians. The band has received four East Coast Music Awards, including “Roots/Traditional Group Recording of the Year” for Terre Rouge (2016), four MusicPEI Awards and Québec’s Édith Butler Award in recognition of their contributions to la Francophonie Canadienne.

One of the most respected bands in the international folk music scene, Vishtèn tours extensively throughout North America, Europe and Australia. The band has performed thousands of shows at international events and venues, including the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics (CA), Philadelphia Folk Festival (US), New Orleans Jazz Festival (US), Festival Interceltique de Lorient (FR), Woodford Folk Festival (AUS), Shetland Folk Festival (SCO) and Temple Bar Trad Festival (IRE), among others. As they travel, members of Vishtèn share their pride in their Acadian heritage and deep knowledge of their respective traditions. Known as inspirational teachers, they offer workshops around the world and are regular instructors at several fiddle camps in North America.


East Coast Music Awards
2016 Roots/Traditional Group Recording of the Year (Terre Rouge) 2013 Francophone Album of the Year (Mosaïk)
2006 Francophone Album of the Year (11:11)
2002 Media’s Choice Award

Music PEI Awards
2016 Acadian/Francophone Artist of the Year 2008 Francophone Artist of the Year
2008 Group Album of the Year
2008 Traditional Group of the Year

La Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec (SPACQ)
2015 Prix Édith Butler – Francophonie Canadienne

Photo : Jacinta Bernard

Pastelle LeBlanc


Piano accordion, piano, percussive dance, vocals

Raised in the small Francophone village of Mont-Carmel, in the heart of Prince Edward Island’s Evangeline Region, composer, dancer and accordionist Pastelle LeBlanc is a leading proponent of contemporary Acadian music. Pastelle grew up steeped in traditional Acadian and Celtic music and was touring professionally throughout North America as an Acadian dancer by her mid-teens. Gifted with an old accordion and inspired by recordings that blend the sounds of bellows and bows, she had mastered the piano accordion by her early twenties. Pastelle’s finessed and percussive playing style brings together her formal dance and piano training with a broad range of influences from Québécois, Cajun and European traditions. As a singer, her rich, mezzo soprano voice and close harmonies speak to her musical breadth and the years spent perfecting her craft. A prolific and innovative composer, Pastelle’s tunes offer a rhythmic drive and sophisticated sense of harmony, placing her at the forefront of this generation’s “new-traditional” composers.

An accomplished teacher, Pastelle is in demand as a piano accordion and percussive dance instructor at festivals and music camps around the world, and she has directed and choreographed several shows in a variety of styles.

Photo credit : Jacinta Bernard

Emmanuelle LeBlanc


Whistles, octave mandolin, bodhrán, piano, jaw harp, percussive dance, vocals

Composer and dancer Emmanuelle LeBlanc is one of the most accomplished female multi-instrumentalists in folk music today. A skilled and innovative percussionist, she is widely recognized as a master of podorythmie (foot percussion) and was touring internationally as a professional percussive dancer by the age of fifteen. Emmanuelle has a wide range of acoustic instruments in her arsenal, and moves flawlessly between them, each played with stunning proficiency and innovation. Raised in the musically-rich Evangeline Region of Prince Edward Island, Emmanuelle was strongly influenced by the traditional Acadian and Celtic instrumental music of the region. She has pioneered her melodic instrument of choice–the tin whistle–with a signature blend of traditional Acadian, Irish, Cajun, classical and rock sensibilities. Noted for her expertise in vocal harmonizing, Emmanuelle’s elegant mezzo soprano voice reflects a similarly broad pallet of musical influences.

As a teacher, Emmanuelle’s resume boasts a list of accolades as an international instructor of Acadian music, dance and song. She is an active member of several national arts organizations across Canada.

Photo credit : Jacinta Bernard

Pascal Miousse


Fiddle, mandolin, guitars, vocals

Composer, singer and string multi-instrumentalist Pascal Miousse has rapidly gained a reputation as one of the most influential fiddle and guitar players of his generation. A powerhouse of melodic improvisation and raw energy, Pascal engages listeners with his unforgettable musical presence. His unique fiddle bowing style and repertoire is rooted in his native Magdalen Islands’ tradition, but Pascal approach and execution reflect a contemporary sensitivity and mastery.

The son of a Magdalen Island guitarist, Pascal was entrenched in traditional music from a young age. Mastering classical and traditional genres at an early age, he left his remote island home in his late teens to expand his musical horizons and has become one of the foremost proponents of the Magdalen Islands’ fiddle style and repertoire. Pascal has contributed his multi-instrumental talents to various Canadian acts encompassing a wide array of genres from folk and traditional music to swing, rock and blues, and is in high demand as an instrumental instructor at music camps and workshops worldwide. Pascal is passionate about passing on his tradition and inspiring younger generations of musicians.

Photo credit : Jacinta Bernard