Louis-Jean Cormier grew up in a family whose rhythms were determined by music. He was immersed in it from childhood.
At the age of seventeen, he left Côte-Nord for Montreal. He became friends with four musicians who like him were fans of progressive rock, jazz and other freeform music. Karkwa saw the light of day. In 2001 the members of Karkwa became part of Francouvertes and began to work on a first album, which was released in 2003: Le pensionnat des établis.
In a few years, the quintet became a leading group of independent rock, proving to doubters than rock music could be made in French. Montreal entered a musical golden age with Malajube, Arcade Fire, The Dears, etc. Karkwa was propelled to the top, winning the Félix awards for group of the year, songwriter, alternative album, concert of the year and the Juno awards for Francophone album for Le volume du vent (2008). With its acclaimed fourth album Les chemins de verre (2010), Karkwa became the first Francophone group to win the Polaris Music Prize.
Louis-Jean Cormier’s reputation as a guitarist and multi-instrumentalist snagged him a few invitations. Gilles Bélanger asked him to produce the first volume of 12 hommes rapaillés, a musical and literary project inspired by the poetry of Gaston Miron. It was a popular and critical success, and Cormier won the Félix awards for best production. The project resulted in another three albums whose participants included Yann Perreau, Richard Séguin, Daniel Lavoie and Michel Rivard.
A curious music lover, Cormier produced albums by Lisa LeBlanc, Marie-Pierre Arthur and David Marin. This propensity to promote artists he likes led him to take part in La voix (The Voice in Quebec) as a coach.
During a break, Cormier began to write a few more personal songs. A voice and a sensibility were being defined. A first solo album, Le treizième étage, was released in 2012 and won ADISQ awards in three prestigious categories the following year: songwriter, rock album and critics’ choice. The musical epic continues in 2015 with the release of his new album Les grandes artères.
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