The Terres de Bretagne Music Festival
Part 5
The Music

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Alan Stivell

Alan Stivell Quartet
From left to right:
Gaëtan Grandjean, guitar
Alan Stivell, Celtic harp
Photo by

In parts 1, 2, and 3 I wrote about the spectacular setting for the Terres de Bretagne music festival, and in part 4 I wrote about the food served there. In today’s post, I discuss the music, which was my principal reason for attending the festival.

Hundreds of people (as well as some eighty performers) braved uncertain weather to hear fifteen groups play traditional Breton folk music as well as jazz, and in the case of the group N’Diale, Breton-Malian fusion.

There were so many groups that I didn’t get to hear them all. The performances took place from 12:45 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at six different locations on the expansive domain. It took a considerable effort to walk from one spot to another. Also, I spent a lot of time exploring the grounds—especially at the top of the hill where the château d’en haut (château on the hill) is located—so I missed many of the concerts.

The first group that I listened to was Penndù Skoulm, a quintet consisting of two men playing the violin; one playing the flute; one, the guitar; and one, the uillean pipe. I found their music lively, but somewhat monotonous. This did not seem to be the opinion of the other spectators, because many of them got up to dance!

Jacky Molard violon - Pennoù Skoulm

Jacky Molard, violin - Pennoù Skoulm
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Dancing to the Music of Pennou Skoulm

Dancing to the Music of Pennoù Skoulm
Photo by

Another group that I watched was Trio Zon, which performed a jazzy kind of Celtic music in front of the château near the top of the hill. I guess that I don’t care much for Breton music because I wandered away after a few minutes to look for something else.

Trio Zon

Trio Zon
From left to right:
Grégoire Hennebelle, violin
Faustine Audebert, vocals
Youen Parathoen, accordion
Photo by

Happily, for my taste in music, the group N’Diale performed later in the afternoon. I blogged about them on June 18, after I had seen them at a pre-launch concert sponsored by Festival d’Ile de France. N’Diale was formed through the collaboration of a Breton group called the Jacky Morland Quartet (Jacky Morland appeared with Pennoù Skoulm earlier) and a Malian group called the Foune Diarra Trio. The music that they play is a marvelous fusion of music from Brittany and Mali.


From left to right:
Yannic Jory, saxophone
Jacky Morland, violin,
Foune Diarra, vocals
Photo by

Toward the end of the day I saw the Trio Brou-Hamon-Quimbert, whose energetic call-and-response, a capella singing delighted the crowd. Watch them perform in my video below. And finally, I saw the musician who is probably the best-know performer of Breton music, Alan Stivell. I liked his jazzy music, but unfortunately, the concert was cut short by a torrent of rain.

Festival d’Ile-de-France sponsors fantastic concerts! Click here to learn more about its program.

View my video of the festival!

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