Tuesday, September 24, 2019

The Emile Series #5: Émile Benoît

Émile Joseph Benoît (1913 –1992) was a Canadian fiddler who became known for popularizing Franco-Newfoundlander folk music traditions.
Born in Black Duck Brook, Dominion of Newfoundland, Benoît worked primarily as a fisherman for much of his life, playing fiddle mainly as a hobby and at local community events. After winning second prize at a fiddle contest in nearby Stephenville in 1973, he began to pursue music more actively, making it his primary career after his retirement from fishing.
He became a popular performer, touring throughout Canada, appearing on 90 Minutes Live and in several documentary films, and performing in New Orleans, England, France and Norway. He released three albums and wrote nearly 200 songs during his lifetime.
His final album, 1992's Vive la rose, was recorded with Newfoundland folk-rock band Figgy Duff. He gave his final performance just two months before his death on September 3, 1992 in Stephenville.
He was posthumously honoured by the East Coast Music Awards in 1993.

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