- In-person event
The Innu group Maten hails from Mani-Utenam, on Quebec’s North Shore, anchored between the St. Lawrence River and the boreal forest. Since the late 1990s, Maten (Mathieu Mckenzie, Samuel Pinette and Kim Fontaine) has played hundreds of shows across Quebec. The band members are deeply committed to their community, their language and their Innu roots. And that’s what the album Utenat (“the big city”) is all about, with lyrics that reflect their values, their culture and their pride in their heritage.
“I arrived in Mani-Utenam. Where I grew up,” say the lyrics to the album’s title track, underlining the importance of roots and the need to return home to find oneself and keep one’s community alive. Dark thoughts and overconsumption are among the subjects tackled on Utenat. Nevertheless, Maten looks to the future and chooses to celebrate hope. Musically, the band members have called on talented fellow musicians (Réjean Bouchard, JF Lemieux, Elage Diouf, Joe Grass, Alain Quirion) to develop a unique sound, a thoughtful blend of alternative folk rock and traditional Innu, Atikamekw and African melodies, rhythms and songs, giving their compositions a distinctive hybrid identity.