Goodbye to the Hurdy Gurdy Man
Master Vielle Player Pierre Imbert Dies
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Pierre Imbert, a master player of the vielle (hurdy gurdy), died on August 15, 2001, of a heart attack.

Imbert was a respected member of Vancouver's World Music community. He founded the Vancouver World Music Collective and prior to living in Vancouver he spent his musical life developing his talent as one of the World's few players of the hurdy gurdy, performing French traditional music.

During his six years in Vancouver, Imbert was best known as the frontman of the World Beat trio Cordes en Folie. The band toured extensively, despite Imbert's health problems. I saw Cordes en Folie perform in a small auditorium in November of 1999, when the band was an opening act for Quebec singer/songwriter Richard Séguin. Cordes en Folie had the audience's entire focus during their half hour set, with intense ethnic percussion, André Thibeault's acoustic strings and, of course, Pierre Imbert's vocals and hurdy gurdy.

I also had the chance to interview the band before the show. That interview is presented here, along with original photos taken during the performance.

Imbert is survived by his wife Diana and their two sons Dario and Stephane.

Adieu Pierre, merci beaucoup pour ta musique!

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