The bagpipe tradition of central France has been thoroughly explored by Jean Blachard. In addition to working with such bands as La Bamboche and Gentiane, Blanchard has performed with as many as 400 musicians at a time. He formed the Quintet of Bagpipes in 1992, and the Large Band Of Bagpipes, an orchestra of hurdy-gurdies and cornemuses, in 1995. He currently works with La Quadrette, an ensemble that he formed with Portuguese guitar player, Jean-Pierre Simonnet, double bassist Estelle Amsellem, and flute player Jeremie Mignotte. Blanchard first attracted attention in 1976, when he released an album, Accordeon Diatonique, of traditional melodies that he collected from such sources as Francois Vidalenc.
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