BeauSoleil is one of the best known and most esteemed Cajun bands in the country. In fact, much of the popularity of Cajun music today can be attributed to this band and its founder, Michael Doucet. Michael grew up in Louisiana in the 1950s and 1960s, but it took a visit to France where traditional Cajun music was being played to spark an interest in his own region’s musical heritage. After returning home he was awarded a Folk Arts Apprenticeship by the National Endowment for the Arts, and he used the opportunity to seek out every surviving Cajun musician and study their techniques and performances. BeauSoleil rose out of that experience. Their music, sung in both English and French, blends traditional Louisiana Cajun tunes with elements of zydeco, New Orleans jazz, Tex-Mex, country, rock, calypso, blues and more.
BeauSoleil has recorded 28 albums, earning them a Grammy award for 1998’s The Spirit of Cajun Music, plus seven other Grammy nominations in both the ‘Best Traditional Folk’ and the ‘Contemporary Folk’ categories (quite a testament to their versatility). Their most recent album, Live in Louisiana won ‘Best Cajun Album’ from offBeat Magazine’s ‘Best of the Beat Awards’. They also won the ‘Big Easy Entertainment Award’ for Best Cajun Band in 2005, and in the same year Michael Doucet was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts, the country’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. You’ve probably heard BeauSoleil without even knowing it, on movie soundtracks such as The Big Easy and Passion Fish. They play at jazz and folk festivals across the country and have played on TV and the radio everywhere from Late Night with Conan O’Brien to the Prairie Home Companion.
BeauSoleil is… Michael Doucet (violin, guitar, accordion, mandolin, vocals) David Doucet (guitar, vocals), Jimmy Breaux (accordion), Billy Ware (percussion), Tommy Alesi (drums) and Mitch Reed (bass, fiddle, banjo, electric guitar). The band’s name pays tribute to Joseph Broussard, also known as BeauSoleil, a hero of the Acadian resistance who died in 1765 after leading 193 exiles to Louisiana.
August 14 2007, 8:00pm at the Susan B. English School. Tickets will be available at the door. Prices are $15/adult, $8/child, or $35/family.
Saturday, September 1: Doug Cox and Chris Proctor - Classic Guitar
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 21 - 23: Vladimir Zhikhartsev watercolor workshop
Wednesday October 30: Huun-Huur-Tu Tuvan Throat Singers