Grosse Isle



Grosse Isle is a group that “represents the musical best of two great cultures”, Ireland and Québec (Roots music Canada). They have been involved in the trad/Celtic/folk scene for more than a decade and have recorded numerous critically acclaimed albums.

With music and song on an array of  instruments including uilleann pipes, fiddle, piano, whistle & banjo, Grosse Isle bring us on a journey through time and place with their carefully curated selection of traditional tunes and songs, as well as new repertoire by 3 times Canadian Folk Music Awards nominee Sophie Lavoie who has been described by Folkworld magazine as a sublime composer, and by Songlines magazine as a “lovely singer”. The piping of all Ireland champion Fiachra O’Regan, described as “alternatively wild and more delicately restrained” by FRoots magazine, adds the unmistakable irish flavour to the group. The sound is completed by the rich accompaniment of Prix Alor Reléve recipient Francois-Félix Roy.

A man holding a bagpipe and a woman with a violin sit side by side against a dark background, both looking content.

In 2016, the first album of the duo Sophie & Fiachra with André Marchand, entitled Un Canadien errant, was hailed as “a striking musical experience” (Le Devoir). In 2018, the group dazzles with Portraits, “a work of art in itself” (Roots Music Canada), “a real treasure” (Folkword) unanimously applauded by critics. This album received a nomination at the ADISQ 2019 in the category “Album of the Year-Traditional”.  A new album will be launched in 2021 by this group, which will henceforth bear the new name Grosse Isle.

Grosse Isle refers to the story of the massive arrival of the Irish in the 19th century, on Grosse Île in the St. Lawrence River, as they fled the Great Famine.  It is a striking encounter between two peoples and two cultures.

Fusing Irish and Québécois repertoire with original compositions, Grosse Isle presents the pieces from the album Portraits as well as many surprises on stage! The harmonious blend of the two cultures, the authenticity and the immense talent of the artists give a sublime result! From laments to more rhythmic songs, the concert is varied and displays the 1001 colors of the band.

Grosse Isle have appeared at major international events including Celtic Connections (Scotland), Milwaukee Irish Fest (USA), National Folk Festival (Australia), WOMEX (Portugal), the Canada Games and the Canadian Folk Music Awards gala (Canada).





Sophie, Fiachra & André are a group of “musiciens sans frontières who refuse to let the Atlantic sunder their love of their own and one another’s Irish and Québecois musical traditions”.
“It’s refreshing to hear a traditional band reference the present with such subtlety and finesse”
« Grosse Isle : un spectacle authentique avec des virtuoses de la musique traditionnelle québécoise et irlandaise. Il y a une telle symbiose entre ces trois musiciens! Je recommande le spectacle à tous les diffuseurs qui veulent faire voyager leur public du Saguenay en Irlande, en passant inévitablement par Lanaudière... »
ALAN CÔTÉ, Directeur général et artistique, Village en chanson de Petite-Vallée
“Comprising of Irish uilleann piper Fiachra O’Regan, Québec fiddler/singer Sophie Lavoie, and guitarist André Marchand, the trio take traditional Irish and Québécois traditional music, blended with Lavoie’s “lithe and masterful” compositions. Their choice of songs will “captivate the most casual listener”
Siobhán Long, THE IRISH MAN
“One of the most downright enjoyable albums to come this way for a considerable time”
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