Fonds P020 - Jean Préfontaine fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Jean Préfontaine fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material
  • Sound recording

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the content of the fonds.

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1967-2008, predominant 1967-1975 (Creation)
    Préfontaine, Jean

Physical description area

Physical description

11 cm of textual records
5 photographs
4 U-110 sound cards
4 posters

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(September 21, 1926-June 24, 2008)

Biographical history

Jean Doc Préfontaine was born in Montreal September 21, 1926 to a musical family. His father, a biologist, played classical piano, and his mother sang opera; an aunt played piano and harp. While attending boarding school in Joliette, he began playing clarinet and flute. He later taught himself to play alto and tenor saxophone. After receiving an Arts degree from the Université de Montréal, he studied medicine for three years. From 1955 to 1963 he served in the Canadian Army, playing bassoon in various bands. In 1965-1966 he interned in psychology, including music therapy, at the War Veterans Hospital in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec. Between 1954 and 1967 he worked frequently as a musician and band leader in and around Montreal. In 1967 he founded Le Quatuor de Jazz du Québec (also known as Quatuor de Nouveau Jazz Libre du Québec, Jazz Libre du Québec, and Jazz Libre). As a member of the quartet, he performed in the musical revues Peuple à genoux, L'Osstidcho (1968), and L'Osstidchomeurt (1969), and worked with Robert Charlebois in concerts and recordings. He was a member of L'Infonie for a few concerts and recordings. With Jazz Libre, he helped organize La Colonie artistique de Val-David (1970), La Ferme du Jazz Libre du Québec (also known as Le Petit Québec Libre) in Ste-Anne-de-la-Rochelle, Quebec, and a coffee house called L'Amorce where Jazz Libre performed regularly. When Jazz Libre disbanded in 1974, he left full-time work as a musician. He became involved in teaching and social and cultural animation projects. He wrote and performed the music for the play L'Aube d'un rêve by Denis Wilford (1975). He moved to the Gaspé region in 1977 and continued teaching. Jean Préfontaine died on June 24, 2008 in New Carlisle, in Gaspésie.

Custodial history

The first deposit to the fonds was made by John Gilmore in 1987. These materials, which were donated to the Concordia University Archives, were sent to Gilmore from Jean Préfontaine in 1985. The fonds has grown over the years, with deposits made by Eric Fillion in 2015, 2016, and 2019.

Fillion obtained the materials in his first and third deposits from Diane Dupuis, the wife of Jean Préfontaine. Materials in his first donation were given to Fillion from Dupuis in April 2012. These were donated to Special Collections in March 2015. Materials in his third deposit were sent to Fillion on February 28, 2019 by Dupuis. These were donated to Special Collections in May 2019.

Materials from Gilmore's original donation were transferred from Concordia University's Records Management and Archives Department to Concordia University Libraries' Special Collections March 16-17, 2016.

Scope and content

The fonds provides an overview of Jean Préfontaine's career until 1979. It includes information on the Petit Québec Libre (1971); Quatuor de Jazz du Québec (1968-1972); La Colonie Artistique Val-David (1979); La Ferme du Jazz Libre (1970-1972); l'Amorce (1972-1974); Relève-Kébec; l'Association coopérative ouvrière de production, les amis du Québec (ACOPAQ); and l'Atelier Pathografik.

Documents include, but are not limited to: correspondence, notes, photographs, newspaper clippings, a Local Initiatives Program application and related documentation, posters, programs, a questionnaire, song lyrics, a score and corresponding sound cards, a phone book, a lease, a loan agreement, contracts and other legal documents.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English
  • French

Script of material

    Language and script note

    Most of the material is in French. Some documents are in English.

    Location of originals

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    Restrictions on access

    Access to the Roland U-110 sound cards is restricted for the purpose of preservation.
    Legal documents restricted until further notice.

    Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

    Reproduction for research or private study is permitted in most cases.
    Use of material in publications cannot be done without permission of the copyright holder.

    Finding aids

    Box listings are available.

    Associated materials


    Further accruals not expected.


    Copyright belongs to the creator(s).

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