La Bottine Souriante to play music across cultural boundaries

The French-Canadian band La Bottine Souriante will play a Lied Center concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday as part of the venue's World Series.

The ensemble first appeared on the Quebec music scene in 1976 and has released 11 albums (one platinum, three gold) in the past 25 years. After winning dozens of awards and headlining festivals around the world, the group celebrated its 26th anniversary in 2001 with the release of a musical anthology.

The nine musicians who comprise La Bottine Souriante are: Yves Lambert, lead singer, button accordion, harmonica; Michel Bordeleau (foot tapping, drum, mandolin, fiddle, guitar, vocals); Andre Brunet, fiddle, guitar; Pierre "Pedro" Belisle, piano, piano accordion; Regent Archambault, acoustic and electric bass; Jean Frechette, saxophone and arrangements; Robert Ellis, bass trombone; Andre Verreault, trombone; and Jocelyn Lapointe, trumpet.

The group has developed a distinctive sound that successfully pairs its homage to tradition with a dash of jazz, salsa and folk music. The music also identifies strongly with the current World Music movement. The ensemble's name translates as "the smiling boot," a reference to the worn-out soles of a working man's footwear.

In 2002, the band received a Juno Award for Best Roots/Traditional Album for Cordial from the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

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