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Richard Desjardins (born March 16, 1948 in Rouyn, Quebec, Canada) is a Québécois folk singer and film director. He and his friends formed the country rock ensemble Abbitibbi in the 1970s. Desjardins played piano, guitar, and sang. When the group disbanded in 1982, Desjardins pursued a solo career. He also found work scoring films, especially documentaries. This involvement in the Quebec film industry even led him to co-direct a number of feature length documentaries. As well as his singing career, he is well known for his environmental activism, especially with regards to protecting forests from over-exploitation.
In 1994 Desjardins realized an old dream, the reunion of Abbittibbi. He brought the group back together and they recorded an album called “Chaude était la nuit” ("The night was hot"). They performed concerts in Quebec and in Europe and the group played at the 1995 Quebec Summer Festival and were awarded the Prix Miroir of the French Song at the Festival. They continued to perform for the next couple of years and wanting to get the feel and energy of a live performance Desjardins had them record a live performance. In 1996 they put out "Desjardins - Abbittibbi Live ".
His third solo album, entitled "Boom Boom", appeared in 1998.
While touring with Abbittibbi in Quebec, Desjardins’ concerns about the effects of deforestation and the resulting environmental degradation became an issue he wanted to tackle in greater depth.
In 1999, “L’erreur boréale” was released.
The film proved its relevance, its accuracy, as well as Desjardins and Monderie’s creative presentation of the information, by garnering many awards.
In 2000, Richard Desjardins moved to Toulouse, France for a year. He returned to Canada in 2001. In September 2003 the CD “Kanasuta” was released.
In 2004 Desjardins put together a touring performance of Kanasuta.
In January 2006 Le Journal de Montréal began printing a series of articles written by Desjardins underlining the urgency of acting to save the forest by putting as much pressure as possible on the logging companies and the government officials that have okayed the logging company operations removal of the forest. The six articles were published daily starting with the January 30th issue.
In 2007 the film "Le peuple invisible" about the Algonquin people and about the unacceptable conditions that they live under was released.
On 25 February 2010, Richard Desjardins has signed, together with 500 artists, the call to support the international campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against alleged Israeli apartheid.
- 1981-Boom Town Café (with Abbittibbi)
- 1988-Les derniers humains
- 1989-Le trésor de la langue (with René Lussier)
- 1990-Tu m'aimes-tu
- 1992-Les derniers humains (new recording)
- 1994-Chaude était la nuit (with Abbittibbi)
- 1998-Boom Boom
- 1993-Richard Desjardins au Club Soda
- 1996-Desjardins Abbittibbi Live (with Abbittibbi)
- 1990-Le Party
- Kanasuta - Là où les diables vont danser (2005)
- 2011 Trou story (The Hole Story) by Desjardins and Robert Monderie
- 2007 Le peuple invisible (The invisible nation) by Desjardins and Robert Monderie
- 1999 L'erreur boréale (English title: Forest Alert) by Desjardins and Robert Monderie
- 1978 Mouche à feu (Firefly), by Desjardins and Robert Monderie
- 1977 Comme des chiens en pacage ("A raging Disaster") by Desjardins and Robert Monderie
Music for Films and Theater
- À double tour (English title: Twice Convicted), by Marie Cadieux, 1994
- Le party, by Pierre Falardeau, 1990
- La Nuit avec Hortense (The night with Hortense), by Jean Chabot, 1988
- Noranda, by Robert Monderie and Daniel Corvec, 1984
- Le doux partage (Soft Sharing) by Sylvie van Brabant, 1983
- Depuis que le monde est monde (Since the world is world) by Sylvie van Brabant, 1981
- L’hiver bleu (Blue winter) by André Blanchard, 1978
- Beat by André Blanchard, 1976 (Desjardins and Abbittibbi as well as other musicians)
- Composed music for and was musical director of ”Têtes rondes et têtes pointues“ ("The Roundheads and the Peakheads") by Bertold Brecht, at the 1986 Brecht International Festival in Toronto.
- Carole Couture, "la parole est mine d’or", Éditions Tryptique, Montreal, 1999.
- Desjardins' web site.
- Words to 59 of Desjardins' songs. (site down)
- Radio Canada (Documentary about Richard Desjardins) (French)
- Radio France, France Blue (Interviews with Desjardins) (French)
- Summary of Desjardins Life’s work (French)