Yves Hélie has a passion for the accordion and traditional music since childhood. His father Camille Hélie, and his grandfather, were playing traditional music on their accordions, so Yves has been accustomed to this musical instrument all his life, which has been part of the Hélie family for four generations now.
What's more, Yves's parents had opened a music store in the basement of the family house, where they were selling all kinds of musical instruments. So, Yves had the opportunity to play with many instruments before making the accordion his instrument of choice.
At eight years old, after having listened much to his father and grandfather playing, he started to learn to play with their help. He then perfected his techniques with Gérard Lajoie and Denis Pépin.
During his adolescence, Yves took part in numerous contests and events where he had the chance to meet other traditional music enthusiasts, which opened up new horizons for him. Afterwards he did many training courses in Canada, Europe and in the United States. And at 18 years old, his experience had also enriched itself with many festivals and collaborations on traditonal music albums.
Since 1993, he often took part in the famous event: «Le Carrefour Mondial de l'Accordéon» in Montmagny, Quebec, as a musician, solo or with a group and even as a host for accordion workshops.
Performance with a group, at the
«Gould Festival of Scottish Traditions»
From left to right :
Paddy Keanan (bagpipes),
Dorothée Hogan (keyboard),
Chris Ormston (bagpipes), Aurèle Lacroix (violin), and Yves Hélie (accordion).
He also went on tour many times in Quebec, in the USA and in Europe with traditional dance companies or other musicians, such as : Dorothée Hogan, Paddy Keenan, Andy Cutting, Gregory Charles and the group «Ménage à Trois» with Martine Billette and Stéphanie Lépine. He also performed (with a traditional repertoire from Québec, France, Ireland and Scotland) in restaurants, inns and touristic trains in Québec.
According to Yves, the key to happiness is to make music play a regular part in people's lives. So he took a real pleasure in sharing his passion by taking part in certain television shows, such as : Mec à dames several years ago, and more recently in 2010: Le moment de vérité, C'est ça la vie and Sortir en Estrie. His story even has its place in the reference book of Gabriel Labbé « Musiciens traditionnels du Québec » (1996, Éditions VLB).
Yves started jams sessions of traditional music in numerous places in the Eastern Townships and he participates in many dance and traditionnal music evenings and does musical arrangements for traditional dance companies.
His repertoire travels from Quebec to France and from Cape Breton to Ireland and Scotland and even ventures occasionally towards Romania and Bulgaria. His main musical influences come from : Gérard Lajoie, René Alain, Denis Pépin, Joe Bouchard, Joseph Allard, Jean Carignan, Jos Derrane, Michael Coleman, John Kimmel, Denis Lanctôt, Louis Corchia, André Verchuren, Tony Murena, Marcel Azzola, Gerry Holland and Nathalie McMaster.
After accompanying other artists and musicians in studio for album recordings, Yves plans to record his first solo album. Of course we will keep you informed about that beautiful project in this website. Meanwhile you can listen to some pieces played by Yves Hélie on the page : Musical clips.