Blending three or four styles into a single song is not uncommon for the skilful string players of Montreal Guitar Trio.
“Our thing is to mix different kinds of music together ranging from Indian ragas to Brazilian music, from flamenco music to rock music in the style of Radiohead or the Beatles for example. It is not rare to find three or four styles blending together in one number. Diversity, humour and energy are the words that describe very well our performances,” said member of the trio, Sebastien Dufour.
While Dufour has been playing the guitar since he was 10, he only came to the realization that music could be a career when he went to school to study classical guitar – and that is where he met his two bandmates.
“We met at the University of Montreal while studying to get our master’s degree in classical guitar. We decided to release our first CD even before we did any public show. So for a whole year we rehearsed together for 20 hours a week to put the music together for the album. After these intense rehearsal sessions the band was ready to perform live and 18 years after, the same three members are still alive and kicking,” he said.
Dufour believes that Fernie was ideal for the tour, and is happy to return to The Arts Station with a different band.
“I was myself touring in Fernie at The Arts Station the last two years with my other group the “Small World Project”. I truly enjoyed the feel of this really nice intimate place with a great listening audience. MG3 had a gig booked in Cranbrook so I was thrilled to be able to fit in Fernie and bring my other trio to your nice town,” said Dufour.
The trio enjoys bringing their highly regarded skills to many different types and sizes of venues, according to Dufour.
“It really varies a lot. We did shows in large venues playing with a Symphonic Orchestra for a crowd of 3000 and the next day playing in a very intimate venue for a 100 people,” he said. “Both are fun to do. But intimate places like The Arts Station are always special because you really have a real exchange with the audience that you can’t find in bigger venues.”
One of the Montreal Guitar Trio’s biggest recommendations came from the CBC, who recognized the band as “the hottest guitar trio ensemble in Canada”.
“It is always nice of course to get recognition from the medias. CBC really helped us with our career by a lot of airplay of all of our albums and live broadcasts – but that was another era. The new programming of CBC is giving less and less space for non-mainstream acts like us. But still, getting that accolade from so many of the radio hosts at a time was gratifying for us,” said Dufour.
While the CBC programming may be less suitable for Montreal Guitar Trio, they have managed to get their sound to show-goers around the world. Many of Dufour’s favourite moments are from different tours that are both inside and outside of North America.
“Playing at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam (the ‘Carnegie Hall’ of Europe) was definitely one of the highlights. But we do have some very good souvenirs from touring in the north in places like Whitehorse, Yellowknife or Anchorage. There is something very special about those places with the people and of course the great scenery surrounding those towns.”
Catch the band at The Arts Station on Nov. 16. Tickets for the concert can be purchased through Theartsstation.com.