At the Jean-Talon interchange on Montreal’s Metro system, Jean-Simon Leduc plays his accordion to the passing commuters. The 25-year-old first picked up the instrument some three years ago when he came across one in a pawn shop for just ten dollars. Prior to that he hadn’t played an instrument, but now his talents are earning him a steady, if unpredictable, wage.
Jean-Simon is among approximately 150 buskers who auditioned for membership to the Montreal Metro Musicians’ Coalition (or in French, Le régroupement des musicians du métro du Montréal) a union that represents the rights and interests of the musicians that play in the Montreal Metro. Union membership is not a requirement for buskers who wish to play in the Metro, but card-carrying members get priority at the busiest stations where competition can be fierce.
Click here to watch Jean-Simon performing on a summer day outside Mont-Royal metro station.