June 19th, 2024

Funeral begins in Montreal for Quebec music legend Jean-Pierre Ferland

By Joe Bongiorno, The Canadian Press on June 1, 2024.

MONTREAL – Quebec music legend Jean-Pierre Ferland is being honoured today with a national funeral in Montreal.

The service began at 11 a.m. at the downtown Mary Queen of the World Cathedral, with an urn containing the singer’s remains carried into the church to the accompaniment of a violin and cello arrangement of one of his songs. The service is set to feature eulogies, several musical performances, and remarks from Premier François Legault.

Quebecers have been invited to come and say their farewells, wearing the colour yellow in tribute to the singer’s 1970 hit album “Jaune.”

Ferland died of natural causes on April 27 at the age of 89 after several months in hospital.

Pianist and composer François Cousineau, a frequent collaborator with Ferland, who produced his 1992 album “Bleu, Blanc, Blues,” will be one of the performers at the funeral.

Cousineau says Ferland was a charming friend with a great sense of humour, but what made him stand out was the unique way he said things in his songs.

“He’s among the greatest,” said Cousineau. “He was a poet of love and a poet of life, that’s how I’d put it, because the thing he wanted most in life was to be loved.”

Danick Trottier, a music professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal, says Ferland was Quebec’s Joni Mitchell or Neil Young, fellow singer-songwriters known for both their music and their words.

While the first decades of his career were focused strictly on making music, Ferland became known more as a performer in later years through appearances on various TV programs, including Quebec’s version of the reality show “The Voice.”

It was during this phase that Ferland became endeared to Quebecers, Trottier says.

“In the ’80s and ’90s, he began to be a kind of a major figure in Quebec show business, and then people began to love him and to say, “˜That’s our love singer,'” said Trottier.

Mourners including Quebec Premier François Legault paid their respects Friday during a visitation at Montreal’s Théâtre Maisonneuve.

“On behalf of the Quebec nation, I want to say thank you to Jean-Pierre for all the beautiful things you’ve done over the years,” Legault said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2024.

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