Considered the grandfather of Québécois accordion players, Alfred Montmarquette was born in New York on April 6, 1871. It wasn't until the early 1920's that he moved to Montréal and at 50 years old started playing accordion for audiences with Les Veillés du Bon Vieux Temps. In music he was self-taught and played by ear. He played with such great French Canadian musicians as La Bolduc, Ovila Légaré, Adélard St. Jean, Henri Langlois, Eugène Daigneault, and Arthur Lefebvre. He recorded over 100 accordion pieces, among them Gigue de Terrebonne, Reel de Chicoutimi and Reel de Valleyfield. Like many musicians at the time, he was unable to earn his living from his music and worked as a mason. He died May 24, 1944 at a hospice for the elderly: penniless, sick and an alcoholic.