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Musician Spotlight

Daniel Bellegarde

Daniel Bellegarde

Haiti / Canada

A Haitian-Canadian percussionist from Montreal, Daniel Bellegarde is inspired by his grandfather’s writings about the history of Haiti and its traditional music. His first solo album, "Anba Tonèl" (2018), takes a fresh look at the music of West Indian country dances. In his second, "Pastourelle" (2022), Bellegarde presents a more unusual combination of the traditions of the French West Indies and Haiti, including the quadrille, contra dance, twoubadou and Creole polka, with Celtic flute and Brazilian string instrument influences. After graduating from the University of Montreal with a degree in sociology, Bellegarde began teaching Caribbean percussion to elementary and high school students throughout Quebec. He also uses his music to support the mental health of people with autism in several specialized community centers through interactive and therapeutic percussion sessions.

Bellegarde’s track “Autobus Nord” is an upbeat instrumental tune with a steady beat and complex guitar riffs. Bellegarde’s inspiration for the song came from both Haitian twoubadou music and a Marseille slam poet who described the daily life of the city’s public transport system with a sense of humor. Even without these lyrics, the tune conveys these multilayered influences and creative inspirations.


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