La Mandragore explores rare repertoire, filled with ancient melodies from distant folk-music traditions using unusual instruments; a world of musical discoveries…
La Mandragore invites you to experience a meaningful encounter between musicians and audience. Concert conventions are set aside and spectators are welcome to participate, learn and interact.
Mix of cultures!
La Mandragore builds bridges from east to west, north to south, creating a rally point for all backgrounds. The group has a strong desire to integrate “foreign” elements in its repertoire, encouraging the audience to reach beyond their ethnicity to other cultures.
“Five accomplished musicians, playing cittern, oud, flutes, percussions, and singing, magnificient!”
Erich Langlois, Radio-Canada (2010)
“The mandrake plant is associated with magic. And the early-music group from Montreal has been casting spells on those who take their traditional folk music seriously for 16 years.”
Bernard Pérusse, The Gazette (2011)
Just like the plant from which they take their name, La Mandragore’s roots run deep into the fertile musical ground and blooms into many budding branches.
The group was founded in 1995, but received non-profit organizational status as Arts and Music La Mandragore in 2010. This organization overlooks three main projects, the music group “La Mandragore”, a medieval entertainment group “Les Jongleurs de la Mandragore” and a street theater troupe “Les Bateleurs du bout du monde”. Here we will present the music group “La Mandragore”.
La Mandragore’s concerts evoke an enthusiastic response from every audience, whether they be young or old, novice or aficionado. La Mandragore’s recipe for success mixes virtuosic and charismatic musicians with an expressive lead vocalist whose palette is multi-coloured. Added to this are original arrangements of ancient melodies and world music played on a multitude of instruments, from crumhorn to nay, oud, bouzouki, gaida and a plethora of percussion instruments.
La Mandragore is different from its peers in two ways: Firstly, its dynamic energy is contagious. Secondly, its musical approach is based on methods of ethno musicological research infused with a healthy dose of modern creativity; starting with medieval or traditional pieces, the group adds rhythm, voices, unusual chords and colorful sounds.
The ensemble’s various incarnations include two colourful concerts:
-Convivencia, a vibrant tribute to cultural cross-fertilization and the peaceful cohabitation of different peoples, which focuses on Andalucia.
-Midgard, its latest project, a saga about the Viking realm, with Scandinavian sonorities.
La Mandragore also offers Visitors, a concert presenting medieval times for the general public and youth workshops.
La Mandragore has recorded 4 albums so far: Miracle! (2001) and Gibraltar (2002) explore Christian Spain of the 13th and 14th centuries. Barbarossa (Fidelio, 2005) explores the “Saint German Empire” of Frederic Redbeard. This album won awards two years in a row at the Sound and Image Festival. The theme of “Convivencia” (Fidelio, 2010), the latest album, addresses the way people from different cultures were able to live peacefully together in 10th century Andalousia, which allowed the Arab, Jewish and Christian cultures to coexist in harmony. This album was nominated by the ADISQ 2011 in the category “Best World Music album”. The Montreal Arts Council on Tour selected the concert of this album, and La Mandragore performed in 10 different cultural venues in Montreal in 2012-2013. This concert also earned the “Opus Award” for “Concert of the year in the World Music category”, awarded by the Quebec Music Council.
La Mandragore and its musicians tour Quebec and Ontario, performing during festivals, concerts and workshops. They are regularly invited to the Arab World Festival, Montreal’s Baroque festival, and also to Sackville’s Early Music Festival (New Brunswick). They have played at “Montréal en lumière”, at the “Festival Musique Multi-Montréal”, at the Quebec City’s Museum of Civilization and in numerous cultural centers in the province. They’ve also performed in France in 2010 and 2012, and in Denmark in 2014.
Her passion for all aspects of singing, has led Ingried to study different singing techniques from all over the world. She has trained in classical, baroque, flamenco, gypsy, klezmer and Arabic music, to name but a few.
In Quebec, she sings and plays for many ensembles, such as Biobazar, Souk d’érable, the Diaphane duet and the MSO Choir. She now presents a solo concert, Women Voices that she has toured throughout Denmark and Sweden. She is also part of a brand new project -Trîles- that combines folk music and musicians from Quebec, Denmark and Scotland.
Ingried also teaches both in Canada and in Europe, giving group workshops and private lessons.
Seán Dagher is a gifted string player whose main instruments are the cittern – Irish bouzouki – and the oud. For 20 years, Dagher has been an active performer and talented arranger devoted primarily to Celtic, folk and the French Trouvères and Troubadours’ musical traditions of the Middle-Ages. He collaborates with many groups like The Paddingtons, La Compagnie Machaut, La Nef and Skye Consort (which he founded).
In 1998, he spent a year in Dublin, Ireland where he studied Celtic music. That same year, he completed a degree in music theory and composition at Concordia University in Montreal. He joined La Mandragore in 2003.
Gregory joined La Mandragore in 2005. He is specialized in baroque flute, and is a member of Idées Heureuses, Theatre of Early Music, Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montreal, Montreal Baroque Orchestra, Tafelmusick (Toronto) and Trinity Consort (Portland). Grégoire regularly performs in concerts across Quebec and Canada, and has played in France, Belgium, Mexico, Turkey, England and the United States. He has collaborated with singers such as Susie Leblanc, Shannon Mercer, Nancy Argenta, Karina Gauvin, Emma Kirkby, Matthew White and Dan Taylor.
Mr. Jeay has recorded several radio concerts and participated in many recordings, most notably with the La Bande Montréal Baroque, Les Boréades Ensemble, La Mandragore, Skye Consort, Karina Gauvin, harpsichordist Luc Beauséjour and violinist Olivier Brault. Just recently, he launched a solo album, “Solo Traverso” under the Fidelio label.
In addition to his activities as flutist, this multi-talented musician has many diverse interests: he composes and arranges for soundtracks but also for his instrument : the flute.
Derbukas, djembe, cajon and other percussion, voice
As result of his passion for percussion of the world, Kattam studied many techniques and instruments throughout his travels. In Cuba, he learned to play congas, timpani and drums. In Guinea, he learned the djembe and doumdoums with Mamady Keita and Konate Famoudou. In Morocco he studied darbuka and Arabic music with Antari Mustapha.
Percussionist for several groups (Wesli Band, Bambara Trans, La Mandragore, etc.) and contributor to several artists (Lynda Thalia Senaya, Folks, Mélissa Lavergne Kissima Diabaté) Kattam has extensive stage experience. He has peformed in several television broadcasts, such as the opening of Montreal Quebec reality series for which he choreographed dance and arranged percussion. As a teacher, Kattam conducts hundreds of workshops per year with youth, in addition to teaching at the Samajam school and giving private lessons to children, adolescents and adults.
Andrew has a music degree from Marie-Victorin College where he initially specialized in classical guitar and Renaissance lute under Jacques Joubert. He developed a passion for ancient instruments and world music, and has played the oud with Ismail Amine and Mraihi Fencioglu, the frame drums with François Taillefer and Carlo Rizzo, and has practiced singing with Madeleine Jalbert and Francine Poitras.
Andrew collaborates with many groups, both as performer, composer and arranger. He joined La Mandragore in 2000. His other projects include La Balconade, Cercamon, La Nef, Strada Mozaïka. In 2008 he founded with Pierre-Alexandre Saint-Yves the duo De Longà. This project has earned them a development and creation bursary from CALQ and a nomination to the Canadian Folk Music Award in 2009 for their first album. His collaborations with La Nef also earned him the Opus Award for Best concert of the year and ADISQ nominations.
A McGill music graduate in baroque violin, Alex has devoted more than a decade to Celtic fiddle styles as well as other world music. Currently living in Sherbrooke, he has discovered a love for teaching while managing to continue an active playing career. Other musical projects include Skye Consort (co-founder), La Nef, Les Siffleurs de nuit, Jeunes Musiciens du Monde, Soulwood, Kehler-Williams Duo among others and he has recorded over 20 CDs in his career. He joined La Mandragore in 2013 for their project MIDGARD. Violin is his principle instrument but he also plays nordic cittern and sings. Recently he has been playing nyckelharpa, a traditional instrument of Swedish origin that resembles a bowed Hurdy Gurdy. He has had the opportunity to study with two renowned Swedish teachers, Torbjörn Näsböm and David Eriksson.