Franco-American Collection

Robert Sylvain, Jr. Performance and Talk

January 25, 2021
4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Lewiston-Auburn Campus
Robert Sylvain

Robert will be playing and singing selections from his Mémère’s notebook of Acadian folksongs in the original French as well as his English translations, along with a discussion of the process of unearthing the autochthonous melodies, their origin and evolution through the generations, and his method of researching these traditional laments and broadsides.


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Robert Sylvain, Jr. is an Acadian-Mainer committed to bringing the extensive musical heritage of his ancestors forward to a new generation of listeners, exploring the depths of traditional culture and the edges of modern culture to present heritage music that is both relevant and timeless.  With over 30 years of professional experience in performance and recording arts, Robert has earned accolades for innovation and inspiration among trad-music aficionados and critics worldwide. Learn more on his website:




Robert’s grandmother, Elisa Sylvain née Thibodeau, grew up in the St. John River Valley, in the heart of Maine’s Acadian region. As the keeper of songs in his generation, Robert inherited his Mémère’s cherished notebook of old Acadian ballads, which he has painstakingly researched for historical sources, found the original melodies, translated and arranged the songs to present to new audiences as proof that Acadian culture still lives in Maine. Thanks in part to a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, a songbook and CD set of the music is now available for purchase.