Get to know Celine Dion's band


Claude "Mégo" Lemay | André Coutu | Yves Frulla | Elise Duguay | Marc Langis | Dominique Messier | Paul Picard | Barnev Valsaint | Jean-Seb Carré | Dawn Cumberbatch

Claude "Mégo" Lemay

Musical Director
Works for Celine Dion since 1987

Claude Lemay (Mégo to his friends) was born into music. From his childhood as a member of Canada’s Petits chanteurs du Mont Royal, Lemay spent his teenage years in bands and later studied music at the Université de Montréal. As a young musician, he worked with Raoûl Duguay, Fabienne Thibault and Richard Séguin. He also worked with Dalida, handling the French music legend’s US and Canadian engagements. Claude achieved widespread recognition during his 14 years as musical director of the Juste pour rire festival.

But it was Claude’s stint with Quebec’s Granby Festival (where he directed 100 songs in only four days) that proved to be his major springboard to success. That’s when he received a call from Celine Dion that would change his life. For the past 13 years, Lemay has been the superstar’s musical partner. Together, they have developed the music for Celine’s many world tours and have shared a passion for electrifying crowds of up to 80,000 fans. Claude also applied his arranging and producing talent to Quebec star Linda Lemay’s album Du coq à l’âme which topped the charts in the French-speaking world for over a year.

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André Coutu

Guitar
Works for Celine Dion since 1991

 (Credit: )
After a four-year run playing guitar on a daily Canadian television show, Coutu became Céline’s guitarist in 1991, making him one of the longest-tenured members of Celine’s band. Since then, he’s toured the world with Céline several times over and recorded with most of Quebec’s top stars.

During Celine’s brief retirement, Coutu returned to television to play guitar on Le Grand Blond avec un show sournois from 2000 to 2002 under the musical direction of Claude “Mégo” Lemay. Coutu, who studied guitar at the University of Montreal, also writes music.

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Yves Frulla

Keyboards
Works for Celine Dion since 1994

 (Credit: Yves Frulla)
For Yves Frulla, music has always been a passion. Frulla studied his way to dual career opportunities, completing serious study of the piano and the pharmacy. While completing the pharmacy program at the University of Montreal, Frulla toured with Sass Jordan, building a music career that ultimately led him to Celine Dion’s band. He toured with Céline from 1994 to 2000.

During Celine’s temporary retirement of 200-2002, he worked on music for films and television, and continued to perform live. When Celine’s band started getting back together for A NEW DAY…, Frulla knew it was worth the move to Las Vegas.

www.yvesfrulla.com

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Elise Duguay

Backup vocals
Works for Celine Dion since 1994

 (Credit: Elise Duguay)
Born into a musical family, Élise Duguay studied music through childhood and in 1985 earned her degree in music, voice and cello from Laval University in Quebec. She went on to sing with some of Quebec’s top voices, including René Simard, Véronique Béliveau, Isabelle Boulay and Garou.

She’s been performing with Céline since 1994, accompanying her on her world tours, as well as numerous TV broadcasts such as the Grammy Awards, the American Music Awards, The Today Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with David Letterman.

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Marc Langis

Basse / Contrebasse / Voix
Works for Celine Dion since 1995

 (Credit: Marc Langis)
In the early 1990s, Langis played alongside drummer Dominique Messier on the daily Canadian talk show Benezra. A native Quebecois, Langis has a Master’s degree in Jazz from the University of Miami, and has also taught university music courses and played in Quebec productions of Cirque du Soleil. He has broad musical interests, from jazz to funk to pop, R&B and beyond. He’s been playing with Céline’s band since 1995.

www.marclangis.com

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Dominique Messier

Drums
Works for Celine Dion since 1995

Messier considers studio work his specialty: in 1977, his family established Studio Piccolo in Montreal, and he began his work there while studying music at CEGEP Saint-Laurent in Quebec. During his student years, Messier brought his talents to numerous shows and recording sessions, and by 1979 he had played on his first album. Later, he played club dates, recorded for albums and jingles. In the 1980s, he learned to use the drum machine, and soon began to diversify his efforts in other ways: he learned sound engineering, began writing music and learned to play bass, keyboards and guitar.

Messier has been touring with Celine since August 1995. In the course of his 25-year career in music, Messier has been a composer, arranger, sound engineer, producer, studio owner and of course, drummer.

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Paul Picard

Percussions
Works for Celine Dion since 1995

Picard trained under Louis Charbonneau at the Quebec Music Conservatory and won the Conservatory’s Premier Prix in Percussion in 1974. In the years that followed, he explored virtually every ethnic, traditional and popular form of percussion. He has performed with symphony orchestras and Canadian bands with styles ranging from pop to Latin. For over 20 years, Picard has also performed with house bands on TV broadcasts; he has also done a tremendous amount of studio work, recording with many of Quebec’s top artists, playing film music and providing percussion on hundreds of jingles. In 1981, Picard won a grant from the National Art Council of Canada to continue his exploration of ethnic and Latin percussion, and his studies eventually earned him a college teaching post, which he still holds. From 1984 to 1986, he played with legendary jazz percussionist Don Alias’ band.

After touring with Canadian star Roch Voisine in the early 1990s, Picard joined Celine’s band in 1995. Picard also writes music, and has composed 10 theater scores and one film score.

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Barnev Valsaint

Backup vocals
Works for Celine Dion since 1998

From 1996 to 1998, Valsaint was lead singer of the platinum-selling hip-hop band Dubmatique. In 1998, he became lead singer for the R&B group Nodeja.

Meanwhile, he had joined Celine’s band for the “Let’s Talk About Love” tour, while he continued his solo work and also launched a career as a record producer. Valsaint loves performing with Celine’s band; the members, he says, share “great energy and passion onstage”.

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Jean-Seb Carré

Violon / Guitar / Backup vocal
Works for Celine Dion since 2002

 (Credit: Akihiro I/Getty Images Entertainment)
A newcomer to Celine’s lineup, Jean-Sébastien arrives with a blossoming solo career as one of Canada’s premier young violinists. Since his album debuted in April 2002, he has played before festival crowds of over 30,000 fans and shot four music videos. Carre formed his first band in ninth grade, and was soon playing in local bars. By the time he was 16, he devoted himself to full-time study, working on voice, violin and jazz. By 1998, at age 21, Carré was touring Québec with Mario Chenart, one of the province’s greatest cabaret singers; a European tour followed. By 2001, Carré had earned a record deal, and the public acclaim that followed eventually landed him a role in Céline’s band for A NEW DAY…

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Dawn Cumberbatch

Backup vocal
Works for Celine Dion since 2011

 (Credit: Le Soleil, Jean-Marie Villeneuve)
Dawn Cumberbatch is one of Celine’s female backup singers in her Las Vegas show. Dawn can be heard on the albums of artists like Anne Murray and Garou. She’s performed the role of Diana Ross in Motown Generation. She’s worked on several television shows and has even ventured into singing television jingles.



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