Daniel Bellegarde, Canadian percussionist of Haitian origin born in Montreal is a self-taught musician. After university studies in sociology and communication at the University of Montreal, Daniel perfected his learning of percussion with Yaya Diallo and Georges Rodriguez in Canada then in France with Cyrille Daumont, Michel Reman and Silvano Michelino. He made himself known by touring with the legendary french Canadian artist Robert Charlebois in Europe and Canada, with the famous Haitian singer Émeline Michel in USA and Quebec, Brazilian composer Paulo Ramos in Canada and Cirque du Soleil. A freelance musician, he can be heard on more than 50 albums as a studio musician and on a dozen long and short film soundtracks including Black Soul and Un dimanche à Kigali.
His diverse career led him to the music that rocked his childhood, the music of Haiti and the French West Indies. Inspired by the writings of his paternal grandfather on the history of Haiti, by listening to the large collection of records of his parents and cousins and by his fascination with ancient and traditional music, the percussionist does a long job of listening to archives, transcriptions, creations and arrangement of this heritage. At the end of 2017 he produced his first album Anba Tonèl (under the arbor) which is particularly interested in the music of country dances (square dance), minuets-congo, quadrilles from 18th and 19th century, and the troubadours of the 20th century.
Winner of a Global Music Awards in 2018 (USA), the album was also nominated for the Canadian Folk Music Awards in 2018 and the Independent Music Awards in 2019 (USA). English UK magazine RnR (Rock-n-Reel) quoted this ... the songs and tunes here are quite beautiful and these arrangements do them full justice. Songlines UK magazine called this album... a breezily concise album!
Beyond shows, Daniel is dedicated to passing on his knowledge by doing Caribbean percussion workshops in primary and secondary schools and also working in mental health by preparing interactive percussion sessions for people with autism spectrum disorders or people with intellectual disabilities.
The release of the next album, Pastourelle, is scheduled for fall 2021. Combining its original compositions and traditional musical arrangements, this future project will bring out sounds in Celtic and Brazilian colors!