HOMMAGE À LA BELLE GASPÉSIE is a French-Canadian Reel in the key of A Major composed in the early 1980’s by Quebecois accordion player Marcel Messervier (born in Montmagny, Québec, in 1934 and still lives there). On fiddle it is played in standard tuning. AA’BB’. The tune is a Maine Fiddle Camp 2023 “Camp Tune” and you can listen to slow and fast recordings as well download the sheet music on the MFC website here: Hommage a la Belle Gaspesie (mainefiddlecamp.org)
OK, this is more than just a “tune history”! It’s really a shout out to the composer.
Marcel Messervier is a world-class button accordionist and tunesmith (here are a few tunes that he composed that are often played around here):
La Belle époque
La Grande Traversée
Hommage a Edmond Parizeau
Hommage à nos Musicien
Hommage à Roc Prou
Reel des Accordéonistes
But… Marcel is also the builder of one of the most sought after Quebecois diatonic accordions, which he still builds in his shop in Montmagny. The instrument looks like this:
My bandmate, Jim Joseph plays one, so does Sabin Jacques. My MFC colleague Steve Muise has one, so does Don Roy. You get the picture!!
Hommage a La Belle Gaspesie (3:35)
ONLINE JAM SESSION
I’m taking this opportunity to remind folks of the jam session that Pam Weeks and I have been holding on Facebook for the last 2+ years. The jam session is held every Tuesday evening from 7-8PM eastern time and is preceded by a 15 minute “mini-concert”, usually a song and a tune. The session is geared toward intermediate level players and we play easier tunes up to speed and more difficult ones slowly at first, then speed up. Chords are called out the first time through, sometimes a little longer if they are complicated. What makes this jam session truly different is that we almost always play tunes that are suggested by the attendees via the FB chat. We know a lot of tunes, but if we don’t we can look it up and still play it. Worst case is we postpone until the following Tuesday (this is rare!) Over the years we’ve built a small community of “jammers” from all over the U.S., Canada and Europe. There is plenty of “banter” on the chat, too! Come join the fun! The jam will be streamed on Facebook Live, accessed through Pam’s FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pamweeks.73. For more info email Pam at email@example.com. If you want to check it out, past jam sessions are archived on Pam’s FB page.
Tune History: “Hommage a La Belle Gaspesie”
and a "shout out" to Marcel Messervier
The CONTINUING TRADITION Number 19