photo: AG Photo
If you recognize Mélissa, you’re either a loyal Drum Fest follower or you’ve caught her on Quebec TV. Allow us to explain. Mélissa appeared at Drum Fest 2009 leading a funky, flamenco-inspired band, Duende Confucion, comprised of three women on cajons/hand claps, accompanied by a guitarist. It was a magical combination spurred on by Mélissa’s obvious flare for leadership, her vocal chanting, which nodded to African rumba, and her precision drumming. True, Mélissa wasn’t unknown to Drum Fest audiences. She’d had a head start demonstrating Roland electronic gear a few years previous. But her appearance with Duende Confucion was a crowning moment. It showed us why she became a featured percussionist on Belle et Bum, a Quebec TV show that sets a national standard in promoting live music. In fact, on set, Mélissa met Parisian percussionist Natascha Rogers, sparking a long term relationship that’s about to explode on stage at the Ralph Angelillo International Drum Fest 2016.
Don’t switch that channel! This season, flick your remote to Belle et Bum and catch Mélissa in her new role as co-host. It’s like she’s been promoted from mail room to board room. So let’s celebrate. Let’s cheer on Mélissa Lavergne and her smoking band.