Jean Carignan

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Jean Carignan
Ti Jean Carignan.jpg
Carignan playing the fiddle
Background information
Born(1916-12-07)December 7, 1916
Lévis, Quebec
DiedFebruary 16, 1988(1988-02-16) (aged 71)

Jean Carignan, CM (December 7, 1916 – February 16, 1988) was a Canadian fiddler from Quebec.

Carignan was born in Lévis, Quebec on December 7, 1916, later moving to Sherbrooke and then Trois-Rivières with his family; the family moved to Montreal when Carignan was ten years old.[1] As a child, Carignan studied with noted Quebec fiddler Joseph Allard, as well as learning the music of the great Irish fiddlers Michael Coleman and James Morrison and the Scottish fiddler James Scott Skinner. Carignan was a friend of famous violinist and conductor Yehudi Menuhin. In 1974, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada as "the greatest fiddler in North America".[2] He died in Montreal on February 16, 1988 at the age of 71.

In 1976, The Folk Music Sourcebook (Sandberg and Weissman) wrote about Carignan : "Carignan's technique is amazing, but more so the joy and energy with which he applies it. There are few players in any music who reach his degree of virtuosity without sacrificing feeling or originality"—p. 84. As a fiddler, he was always aiming for the strictest authenticity in his executions, displaying an attitude of absolute rigor when playing his repertoire of 7,000 pieces learned from Coleman, Skinner, Allard, Wellie Ringuette and many others.

Selected discography[edit]

  • 1959: Ti-Jean. . . Le Violoneux (Disques London Série Française)
  • 1960: Old Time Fiddle Tunes played by Jean Carignan (Folkways Records)
  • 1961: Alan Mills and Jean Carignan: Songs, Fiddle Tunes and a Folk-Tale from Canada (Folkways)
  • 1973: Jean Carignan (Philo)
  • 1976: Jean Carignan rend hommage à Joseph Allard (Philo)
  • 1977: Jean Carignan Plays the Music of – Joue la Musique de Coleman, Morrison & Skinner (Philo)
  • 1987: Gigue à Deux (Radio Canada International)
  • 2006: Classic Canadian Songs from Smithsonian Folkways (Smithsonian Folkways)
  • French Canadian Fiddle Songs (Legacy – an Elektra/Everest Production)

Selected filmography[edit]

  • 1986 Featured in TV series, Down Home[3] for Channel Four TV made by Pelicula Films, Glasgow
  • 1996 Featured in A Musical Journey- The Films of Pete, Toshi and Dan Seeger 1957-1964, 1996, Distributed by Rounders Records.[4]

Honours and awards[edit]


  1. ^ Bégin, 1981
  2. ^ Order of Canada citation
  3. ^ "BFI | Film & TV Database | CAPE BRETON AND QUEBEC (1986)". 2009-04-16. Retrieved 2013-09-06.
  4. ^ "SearchWorks Catalog". Stanford University. Retrieved 2016-05-01.
  5. ^ a b Christian Rioux; Richard Green. "Jean Carignan". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2013-09-06.


  • Bégin, Carmelle: La musique traditionelle pour violon: Jean Carignan (Mercury Series no. 40, Canadian Museum of Civilization) (Ottawa, 1981)

External links[edit]