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Ménestrel (Old French meaning entertainer) is an alternative early music group co-founded by Janelle Lucyk and Kerry Bursey, mixing ancient repertoire with oral folk traditions.  Janelle Lucyk is a singer and producer among an emerging generation of Canadian artists specializing in old music and historically informed performance, taking ideas from conception to the stage. Kerry Bursey is a tenor and plucked string instrumentalist whose voice is appreciated for its luminous quality and as a sought-after lutenist, is also invested in the rare practice of self-accompaniment, in early and folk music of northwestern traditions.  Ménestrel has been active across Canada since 2019.  In December 2022 and 2023, Ménestrel toured their production “Messiah-on-the-go!” congregating 20 emerging performers from across Canada to be featured in historic Nova Scotian venues. This year touring continues across Canada and in Europe.

Janelle Lucyk

"Such an angelic voice. Her expressiveness is beyond words. It's as though she's channeling God." - Dr Cowan

Janelle Lucyk is a leader among an emerging generation of Canadian artists specializing in old music and historically informed performance, taking ideas from conception to the stage.

In fall 2022, she was invited by legendary organist Xaver Varnus to perform at his two sold out performances in Hungary, including at the spectacular Bartók National Concert Hall in Budapest. She has had the good fortune of working as a soloist with the Kings College Chapel Choir under five-time Grammy winner Paul Halley on many unforgettable concerts including Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 and Selva Morale e Spirituale and multiple Bach Passions.  Janelle is the artistic director of Ménestrel (Old French meaning entertainer), her early music ensemble with Kerry Bursey.  In 2022 and 2023, Ménestrel produced their "Messiah-on-the-go!" congregating twenty emerging performers from across Canada to perform Handel's masterpiece in historic Nova Scotian venues.

2024 includes touring in most of the provinces and territories of Canada as a soloist representing Ensemble ArtChoral's multiyear project Coast-to-Coast-Coast. The summer Ménestrel will also have performances in Europe.

Following mentor and arts champion Barbara Butler, Janelle assumed the role of Artistic and Administrative Director of Musique Royale (est. 1985), a music presenter based in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia which enriches historic spaces through the sharing of world class early music, and much more.  Last year included concerts in forty different historic venues across the spectacular maritime province.

Janelle graduated in 2014 with distinction from the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles in Belgium and completed her Masters in Management at Durham University in the UK where she was awarded the Best Soloist by Music Durham, and Best Female Soloist by her peers. While in Europe, she formed Voces Desuper, an ensemble performing regularly in the magnificent Cathédrale de Saints-Michel-et-Gudule, and especially at the Te Deum ceremony for the King and Queen of Belgium.

Janelle is ever grateful to the Canada Council of the Arts, the Federal Department of Canadian Heritage, Arts Nova Scotia and Brent Rinaldi for their support.


Kerry Bursey

Kerry Bursey is a Canadian tenor and plucked string instrumentalist from Montréal. An early music specialist and a versatile singer, he is acclaimed for his “clear voice, made of dreamy troubadouresque sweetness” (Ôlyrix) and “beneficent tenderness” (Le Temps). He is a sought-after lutenist and guitarist, notably invested in self-accompaniment, from lute songs to folk music.  Recently, he made his European debut as a soloist at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Manchester International Festival, Bregenzerfestspieler and the Southbank Centre. In 2024, he will sing at the Muzikgebouw in Amsterdam and at the Ruhrtriennale.

He regularly works as a soloist with early music groups such as Ensemble Caprice, Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal, Harmonie des Saisons, Theatre of Early Music, les Idées Heureuses, la Nef, Pallade Musica, Infusion Baroque and Clavecin en Concert. He tours internationally with his ensemble, Ménestrel, co-founded with soprano Janelle Lucyk. He is a member of Quartom, the leading classical vocal quartet in Québec.

Kerry is frequently hired as a session musician and creative collaborator because of his broad musical output, from pop to video games. He composed and performed the soundtrack of  award-winning thriller,  444, which premiered at Fantasia Festival, and worked on the sci-fi movie Mistral Spatial. He frequently works with Ubisoft and notably sang gregorian chants as a monk in the game Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. 

Kerry holds a masters’s degree in classical guitar from the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal and has studied voice performance at McGill University. He was a winner at the 2011 Grand Prix de Guitare de Montréal.

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