Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien stand apart from other early music groups in their focus on song and dance repertories, mostly those transmitted via oral tradition.
They have focused on French music but have also played music from other countries.
Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien were founded in 2006 by flutist François Lazarevitch, who also plays the bagpipes and has performed on that instrument frequently with the group. He took the name from that of St. Julien of Mans, the patron saint of a group of medieval fiddlers; the name, in the group's own words, "symbolizes a desire to give life to a direct and simple music, in connection with oral traditions, in a search for the spirit of the dance, natural musical phrasing and instrumental colors." As of 2019, the group had eight members. Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien quickly attracted attention and performed in significant French venues including the Salle Cortot, the house of the French Senate at the Luxembourg Palace, and the Chabotterie at Saint-Sulpice in Montréverd. They have also performed abroad at the Maison Française in Washington, D.C., the Ciclo de Música Antigua in Mexico, as well as holding residencies at the Bach Academy of Arques-la-Bataille and the Baroque Festival of Pontoise. In 2018, they began a two-year residency at the Festival de Lanvellec.
The group's recordings for the Alpha label have been central to their reputation. Many of the label's releases have focused on music in social context, and it was thus a natural home for Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien. The series began shortly after the group's formation with the album Danses des Bergers, Danses des Loups, and has continued to explore French vernacular traditions, sometimes encompassing music of other countries as well as on 2016's The High Road to Kilkenny. Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien have also explored the connections between popular dance music and concert traditions, issuing an album of Vivaldi concertos in 2017 and Purcell: Songs & Dances in 2019.