“A beautifully performed program, strong group cohesion, verve, a deep understanding of gypsy, Balkan and Ashkenazi Jewish music, with classical flair and an almost jazz attitude to play.” Alain Brunet, La Presse 15 juillet 2015
“I’ve had a lot a really great acts this summer, but they definitely are among the top 5 (top 3?) shows.” J. Craig Moddle – Butchart Garden
“It is a festive passion asking nothing less than to manifest itself.” Pierre Lauzon, DansnosLaurentides.com
Oktopus is a major presence on the Canadian world music scene, with over 250 performances to its credit at home and abroad. The group is primarily devoted to klezmer—the musical heritage of Eastern European Jews—distinguished by a novel approach that incorporates various components of the classical and Quebecois repertoire, with some jazz and Balkan accents.
The group’s eight virtuoso musicians offer festive, high-energy performances, at once melancholic and profound, sprinkled with humour and spiced with narrative, in which original compositions and finely crafted arrangements combine with improvisation. Its members’ complicity, shared passion, and hard work are what makes each of their performances so memorable— whether on stage, in the street, on a ship, in a hot air balloon or in your living room, Oktopus is simply… spectentacular!
Oktopus’ distinctive music is undeniably rooted in the klezmer tradition, reflecting the rich history of a thousand-year old community, its persecutions and celebrations, tears and laughter, or both at the same time. Musicians of yesteryear incorporated in their repertoire the music they encountered on their journeys, and just like them, the members of Oktopus are inspired by the music they hear throughout their own travels. Thus, the melodies of several classical composers, such as Bartók, Brahms, Prokofiev or Enescu are rearranged by the octet, particularly their works derived from folk themes. Quebec songwriters are also sources of inspiration, with Leclerc and Vigneault being added to the group’s repertoire.
Gabriel Paquin-Buki – clarinet, composition and arrangements
Veronica Ungureanu– violin
Noémie Caron-Marcotte – flute
Matthieu Bourget – bass trombone
Madeleine Doyon – tenor trombone
Guillaume Martineau – piano
Maxime Philippe – drums and percussions
Francis Pigeon – trumpet
2021 – Nominee Canadian Folk Music Award
2021 – Nominee Opus Award
2021 – « Special prize for the most creative fusion of ancient and contemporary music traditions » awarded by the Slovak Radio Bratislava
2018 – Nominee Canadian Folk Music Award
2018 – Nominee Juno Award
Grand gagnant de la 8me édition du concours les syli d’or de la musique du monde