Madonna arrived in Montreal with her band and her Quebec pianist, Ricky Pageot.

Madonna is in Montreal. The diva will perform in concert at the Bell Center on Thursday and Saturday evenings, and her crew descended on Dorval on Tuesday, confirming her longtime pianist, Montrealer Ric'key Pageot.

• Read more: “I Was Stumbling”: Mario Belchat opened for Madonna in front of 54,000 at the Olympic Stadium in 1993

• Read more: Thursday and Saturday at the Bell Center: “Tomorrow the Earth Stops Spinning for Madonna” – Marie-Claude de Lillo, huge Madonna fan

• Read more: Madonna's visit: 6 visits to Quebec

Don't get excited yet because it's unlikely you'll run into Madonna on the streets of Montreal between now and her show Thursday night. The 65-year-old singer – who became seriously ill in June 2023 – wants to rest between her tour performances Celebration.

“For Madonna, being in Montreal is like coming home, because her mother is from Quebec. She asked me today how I felt about coming home, and I deflected the question. She answered me: I feel the vibe! It was always special to have her here, she would often say: I am also French Canadian! He is very proud of it,” explains the pianist, who has already worked with the singer for 16 years.

Ricky Pageot is on his fifth world tour with the star he now considers a sister. “To play with Madonna at the Bell Center and see friends, family and people involved in my music career is very special,” said the man (who must remain anonymous for security reasons) in the company of the Queen of Pop, who marveled at finding herself in a chic hotel in her hometown.

Montreal pianist Ricky Pageot

Madonna's 17-year-old daughter, Mercy James, plays the piano during the concert (she performs a classical piece following the song bad girl with his famous mother). His piano teacher and mentor was a Côte-des-Neiges artist of Haitian roots.

“I have been working with Madonna for 16 years, but now I have another role. I'm not on stage, I'm playing a role behind the scenes, which is respectable. I have been teaching my daughter Mercy James piano for 10 years. During this tour, I am trying to show him how to control his emotions through acting. And 20,000 people are shouting at you every night,” he says, praising his patron's calm approach.

The Montreal pianist had the chance to get to know Madonna personally during the pandemic. Both live in LA, and he visits her home twice a week to give their daughters piano lessons.

“I spent a lot of time with her personally. Our relationship deepened and I was able to see a side of her that I had never seen before and that I really appreciated.

Madonna, her daughter Mercy James and pianist Ricky Pageot

Madonna, her daughter Mercy James and pianist Ricky Pageot

Live his dream

In 2008, Ric'Key Pageot caught Madonna's attention when he was a musician at Cirque du Soleil. Instead of giving him an audition, the singer invited him to participate in a few shows. He believes his work ethic, his discipline, his versatility, his attitude and their chemistry worked in his favor.

“Persistence, connections, being as good a person as possible, obviously talent and having good, genuine relationships with people will take us far,” he says.

Between touring with Madonna, performing with Christina Aguilera, and other shows with Cher and Diana Ross, Ricky Pageot finds time to be part of the Haitian ball hockey team and perform his own traditional music around the world. He will give an intimate performance at Pianos Polduc on Friday evening.

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