The Contra Pulse Project is a collaboration between Julie Vallimont and CDSS to document the history and evolution of contra dance music from the boom-chuck piano roots to new modern forms for all instruments. Julie will be interviewing musicians from across the continent with a range of different styles— taking a snapshot of the “state of the artform,” and exploring the evolution across the lifetimes of each artist. These interviews will dive into how artists think about their playing, who and where they learned from, how their styles are distinct and how they may have influenced others.

We’ll be releasing each interview in a podcast format, along with video interviews and musical clips.

Want to get involved? Become a part of the process! We’d love to have your help making this project even better – email contrapulse@gmail.com.

The Incomparable Julie Vallimont

Julie Vallimont is known for her driving piano style, skill in matching tunes to dances, and music with heart. Julie became known on the national contra scene with the beloved bands Nor’easter and Buddy System and is an in-demand pianist and accordionist in New England and nationwide, having played in many bands over the years.  Her compelling, rhythmic piano style draws on her study of New England contra piano and traditional Quebecois, Irish, French, and Cape Breton music. A former classical pianist and organist, she fell in love with traditional music and dance in 2004 and since then has gone on to perform at numerous festivals and music camps.