Accordion virtuoso Emmanuel Gasser, from St. Charles, Ontario, was one of the surprise discoveries of the Northern Lights Festival Boréal. At 20 years old, he's already a world-traveling pro with a handful of albums and a penchant for picking up various trophies and awards, including awards for composing. Despite that, he still comes across as bashful.
Gasser's playing isn't just virtuosic; it's enchanting. Over songs like "Busy Fingers" and "Lyle's Polka," "Accordion Rag" (a ragtime tune) and a cover of "Let It Be," Gasser's accordion often filled in for various parts of an orchestra: an organ, a brass section, woodwinds. As he got off stage, the host remarked that he wouldn't be out of place on the Lawrence Welk show — Gasser admitted he's a fan.