1949 – present (68 years)
Bagad Kemper is a traditional pipe band from Kemper/Quimper in Brittany/Bretagne, France. (Kemper = Breton language, Quimper is the French spelling.) The band is quite large. They play both types of Breton bagpipe (bagad) - I think these are large and small, but there may be other, more technical, differences. They also play bombardes( like large bell-ended pipe chanters, with no bag and played directly from the mouth. they have a double bladed reed - like a highland bagpipe requiring great breath capacity!!!!, imagine a Scottish piper testing his/her pipe chanter off the bag by blowing by mouth (as they do when setting up a reed) but a bigger bore diameter of chanter!). Bagad Kemper also have a drum corps.
If you have never heard the Bagad Kemper, try them at least once. They have a fascinating sound. To the typical Scottish Pipeband follower, they sound wild, exotic and rich, but retaining the ensemble sound and musicality of a Grade One Band. One technique that sets Breton bands apart is the ability to start on one or other (of the four) instrument groups and bring in the other sections gradually - this gives a dynamic depth, not possible in the traditional Scottish band.
There are other pipe bands in Brittany, one of the other most famous bands being (seriously!) the French Navy Bagad - Bagad de Lann-Bihoué. They play in the French matelot uniform, practice on an aircraft carrier, are based in Lorient and are a very very good band, as are Bagad Kemper.
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