At seven years old, Dominique Dupuis decides that she wants to play violin. “The violin is the instrument that is most alive; fiddlers made the people dance.” Dominique’s charm and the passion she has for the instrument that she plays with such enthusiasm and energy are very much a part of her entire personality. The talent of this 21 year old, originally from Memramcook, in South-Eastern New Brunswick(Canada), was apparent from early on, when she studied both traditional and classical violin. “I really loved classical violin and it taught me so much. With proper technique, you can produce unimaginable sounds.” Within three years of playing the violin, she was learning tunes not only by note, but by ear. By buying incredible jazz-violinist Stéphane Grappelli’s recordings, she discovered how much jazz violin shows a wide range of emotion and how she could do the same with her instrument.
A venturesome go-getter, Dominique took her first steps as an artist on stage at the Pays de la Sagouine, in Bouctouche, when she was barely nine years old. At 12, she performed during the opening ceremonies of the Festival International de Louisiane, in Lafayette. In 2000, she released her first album, Le bonheur des coups d’archet, followed in 2002 by Sans relâche.
It was in the summer of 2002 that Dominique made her début in Europe. She performed on stage in Switzerland at the Festival de la Cité, in Lausanne, as well as at the Expo ’02, in Yverdon-des-Bains. She ended the summer with a mini-tour in France. 2002 also marked the beginning of a long relationship between the then 15 year old and the Festival Interceltique de Lorient, in Brittany. During that tour, she also performed at the Festival de la Saint-Loup et de la Danse Bretonne in Guingamp, at the Déferlantes francophones in Capbreton, as well as at the Festival Acadie en Ré in Saint-Martin de Ré. In the fall of 2003, she won the hearts of the people of Québec when she performed in Sherbrooke, Granby and Drummondville.
While Acadie was celebrating its 400th birthday in 2004, this young virtuoso was at a turning point in her career. At only 17, she was hailed by the French media as the young ambassador of charm of l’Acadie. She kicked off the year with a series of 14 shows stretched on a three-week period in France and Belgium. She then gave a radiant and magnificent performance before a crowd of 55,000 at the Stade de France, during la Nuit Celtique. In August, she returned to the Festival Interceltique de Lorient, where she was named “the revelation of the 34th edition”. She then returned to the festival in 2005, 2006, 2007, and again in 2008 as the star of l’Acadie and was hailed “the Celtic Nation’s Young Fiancée”.
Still in 2004, the young violinist brought her music from Acadie to Italy, in the Aosta Valley, during the festival CELTICA, as well as at the Festival VISA Francophone, in Villefranche de Rouergue in France. She also took part in the closing ceremonies of the Congrès mondial des acadiens on August 15 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in front of more than 10,000 spectators; this mega-concert was nationally broadcasted on Radio-Canada.
A young career already well-rewarded
Dominique Dupuis collected many prizes as the years went by. In 2002, she received the prix Acadie-Rideau during the FrancoFête Dieppe-Moncton and therefore earned a spot to perform at the Bourse Rideau in Québec City, in 2003. That same year, her piece The Hurricane was crowned Instrumental piece of the year at the Gala des Prix Étoiles de l’ARCANB. She was also nominated as Instrumental Artist of the year at the ECMA in 2003. In 2005, her showcase at the FrancoFête Dieppe-Moncton was voted best showcase and enabled her to travel to Rimouski for ROSEQ.
Her experience on stage is not only that of a solo artist: Dominique shared her talent with the musicians of Vishten in 2003. With them, she performed in France, Ottawa, Gaspésie, Magdalene Islands, Michigan, California, Massachusetts and at the Lincoln Centre in New York. Dominique was also a member of Shaïda, Clearwater (Garth Brooks Tribute Tour), Harmonie, and Image. The young virtuoso took part in the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championships and shared the stage with many artists, such as Rawlins Cross, Carlos Nuñez, Marie-Jo Thério, Zachary Richard, Suroît, Danny Boudreau, Bois-Joli, Les Méchants Maquereaux, Grand Dérangement, and many more.
This young woman continues to leave her mark everywhere she goes, from Québec to Ontario, from the United States to Europe. Whether for community events or before huge crowds at mega-concerts, Dominique plays to see spectators’ smiling faces. “I play aggressively on stage and on top of that, I carry emotions; it has a lot to do with intimacy: when you feel the people’s warmth, you feel the emotion and it comes across, without even thinking about it.”
Dominique Dupuis’ career has never ceased to blossom. After completing her second year of university, she traveled to France in June 2007 where she received a warm welcome in Rennes, when she performed at the Stade de la Route de Lorient, during the Nuit Interceltique. July of 2007 brought her back to France for a few concerts, alongside the other musicians in the production l’Ordre du Bon temps, only to return in August to her home-away-from-home, in Brittany, where she performed night after night in a jam-packed pavilion at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient.
In Lorient, where more than 720,000 Celtic music fans unite, the young virtuoso was hailed “the Celtic Nations’ Young Fiancée”. A veteran of the festival, her performances were among the most memorable: she performed every night before a sold-out crowd at the Stade du Moustoir, during the Nuits magiques. In November, Dominique’s music brought her Cajun cousins to their feet as she participated in the festival La Belle journée in Lafayette, Louisiana. Everywhere, the spectators are immediately mesmerized; you can feel the strength, richness, vivacity, energy and emotion, the musical moment of a very alive violin.
Solo, in duo with Stephen LeBlanc, or well surrounded by her talented group of musicians, Dominique unveils the complicity and emotions expressed so freely in the playing of the violin and guitar, as well as the rock-trad influences and tendencies, joined by the rest of the gang… Her present show is enriched by her original compositions: “I have found my direction and I can pinpoint my influences: a mixture of Acadian and Celtic, especially Irish, but with a tad of Scottish…” This is also evident in her third album, Bourrasque, she released in July 2008.
A blend of Acadian, Celtic and Contemporary music, Bourrasque is a modern interpretation of folk music from here and afar. Like a wind gust, it is an invitation to get lost in her intoxicating music. While listening to the album, you will hear a great variety of pieces (a total of 13 sets, made up of approximately 30 tunes, of which 10 are Dominique’s original compositions): tunes drawn from Acadian and Canadian folk music, but seasoned with the flavor of the day, including electric guitar riffs intertwined with violin jigs.
Bourrasque marks this young Memramcook-native’s journey. The tune Village du Bois is dedicated to her homestead while the Jig à Phélonise, is a tribute to her great-grandmother. Dominique Dupuis also acknowledges the tremendous influence Brittany has had on her music, with Triskel. Dominique Dupuis’ album Bourrasque is distributed by Distribution Plages and is available on the web site www.plages.net.