Les Chanteurs Acadiens, comprised of Charles Stewart, Roger Damboise and Don Levesque, is a three-piece acoustic band based in Madawaska, Maine.
The members of Les Chanteurs Acadiens are a product of Northern Maine’s unique Acadian culture. Each member of the group grew up speaking French and still speaks it today. The original mission of the group, to preserve and promote old French and Acadian songs, has evolved so that the aim today is to also raise awareness of our unique lost Acadian culture and to celebrate it in song and stories. There is nobody like Les Chanteurs Acadiens. The music you will hear is fun, lively, educational, touching, and filled with love and respect for a small area of North America that is rightfully proud of its rich and varied heritage.
Les Chanteurs Acadiens have built a solid repertoire of classic folk songs sourced from the rich French history of the area – songs brought over from our French ancestors that continue to pass down from generation to generation and remain treasured folk favourites in French Canada’s Acadie and Quebec (among others), as well as in Franco-American communities scattered around the United States.
While a concert by Les Chanteurs Acadiens is sure to include a good dose of toe-tapping history, the trio does not shy away from offering up a rousing selection of original songs, jigs and reels that range in topics such as the woes of potato picking, spring cleaning and the pretty girls who live in Quimby. Varied subjects yes, but all rooted in the same sentiment: celebrating the unique, quirky culture of French-speaking Northern Maine and its neighbours!
A variety of musicians and singers have been part of over the years. At one point the group numbered eight members. For the past year it consists of three veteran members.
Currently, Les Chanteurs Acadiens is comprised of Charles Stewart, Roger Damboise and Don Levesque.
Charles Stewart, a native of Van Buren, Maine, an original member of the group, is a social worker during the day but he has played in several bands over the past 40 years, from hard rock to country to folk. Charlie plays guitar, electric bass, keyboard, flute, and dabbles on the fiddle.
Roger Damboise, a native of Connors, Maine, has been with the group for more than 20 years. A few years ago he retired from a career of over 30 years as a special education teacher. Roger plays harmonica, mandolin, banjo, ukelele, keyboard and percussion.
Don Levesque, a native of Grand Isle, Maine, joined the group about five years ago. He recently retired after a quarter century in journalism. Don is a singer/songwriter who plays guitar and dabbles on harmonica.