Jarvis Benoit dies at 83
Well-known Acadian fiddler Jarvis Benoit died Friday in a Halifax hospital from complications following an operation. He was 83.
Benoit, who lived in Richmond County, Cape Breton, was known for blending a variety of fiddling styles.
He began playing music publicly at the age of five. His greatest claim to fame was with his quartet — the Jarvis Benoit Quartet.
According to his obituary, Jarvis began his professional career in Cape Breton where he performed in concerts and at dances during the 1940s and '50s. He moved to Halifax with his family in 1957 and opened a small contracting business.
Career highlights include recording two albums, television and radio work, countless concerts, festivals and a series of shows with major symphony orchestras across Canada.
Local jazz pianist Bill Stevenson told the Halifax Chronicle-Herald that Benoit had a flair for the fiddle. He said Benoit had "a vast repertoire" and could "play for days without repeating himself."
"There was nobody quite like Jarvis because he had the French style, he had the Cape Breton style and the French leaned toward the Irish, so he was a romantic," Stevenson told the paper Saturday.
Benoit is survived by his wife Marie Claire Benoit, son Louis, daughter Nancy Macdonald, five grandchildren, two siblings and a large extended family.