Basil and Marg are Metis musicians, with ancestry in the historic Metis community of Thunder Beach , ON.
They play music they love! Since their goal always is to make people want to dance, they include many types of music and various instruments... jigs to waltzes.
Their special interest is in preserving traditional Metis music and culture.
They are currently planning for their 4th annual Labatte Homestead Rendezvous.
It takes place at the historic Metis home of Louis George Labatte, built circa 1834, at Thunder Beach.ON. Basil and Marg are Labatte descendants. The current owner kindly made the home available to the public for the first time in 2017.
Basil's musical career began at a young age. He inheritated a wealth of traditional music from two grandfathers, who played accordion and fiddle. He formally studied accordion and outshone the competition in music festivals.
His interest in building instruments led him to Frankfurt Germany, to become a certified luthier.
For several years he toured successfully in the US as leader of the Baton Rouge Show Band, becoming adept at playing numerous instruments. He became known as "Mr. Music".
Later work in the music industry involved international trade shows and the crafting of prototype guitars.
After returning to Canada he revived the Baton Rouge Show Band and joined the Canadian Country Music Association.
In the late seventies he was a consultant for the Mariposa Folk Festival, as well as a performer there.
Marg has been singing as long as she can remember. She comes from a family where all the aunties and uncles sang together to the accompaniment of accordions, harmonicas and piano.
By high school she was branching out to perform in a folk trio and dance band.
For several years she performed solo in southern Ontario coffee houses, and as far as Yukon and BC.
She has recorded 2 CD's and 1 LP of original music.
In high school her choir recorded an LP, in which she was lead soloist. Perhaps the album cover describes her talent best.
"[She has] won awards in every competition she has entered. Dorothy Allen Park of the Royal Conservatory of Music acclaims the beautiful lyrical quality and eceptional flexibility ...'as a voice of great promise.' The young singer has consistently been told that hers is a 'Brilliant' voice'."