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Vishtèn at Old South Church

FARMINGTON — New England Celtic Arts will present Acadian super group Vishtèn at Old South Congregational Church Tuesday, Aug. 30. A pre-show jam session will kick off at 6 p.m. and the curtain is at 7.

Vishtèn will launch the late summer/fall concert series at Old South in affiliation with New England Celtic Arts. Other shows will include The Tartan Terrors, Acoustic Eidolon, Bonhomme Setter, The Dardanelles and A Coig Christmas.

In the North Atlantic Ocean, in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence off Canada’s east coast, lays tiny Prince Edward Island and nearby, the even smaller archipelago known as the Magdalen Islands (Îles-de-la- Madeleine). In addition to being connected today by a ferryboat, both islands have a shared history and cultural ties that date back several centuries, the tale is of early French Acadian settlers seeking a better life in the new world. In their quest to survive, many of these settlers eventually became fishermen and carried with them their musical traditions as a means of celebrating their survival. Today, there is but a small enclave on Prince Edward Island where the French culture is predominant, while the Magdalen Islands still remain primarily French.

For centuries, there has been a musical connection between these two places, traded back and forth through fishing trips and marriages among members of both communities. Contemporary Acadian traditional group Vishtèn embodies the spirit and the sound of this connection, in the present tense. Group members Pastelle and Emmanuelle LeBlanc and Pascal Miousse have become a distinctive and powerful international voice for traditional music from this part of the world.

All three members are direct descendants of the first colonial families that inhabited their respective islands and second-generation traditional musicians. Twin sisters Emmanuelle and Pastelle LeBlanc were raised on Prince Edward Island and grew up in a household where fiddle music and percussive dancing was a common part of everyday life. Similarly, Magdalen Islander Pascal Miousse’s home was a frequent meeting place for traveling fiddlers and music sessions.

Old South Congregational Church is at 235 Maine Street in Farmington. Reservations are strongly suggested; call 491-5919. Ticket price is $20 adults and $10 for students and UMF with ID.

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