The Cajun Roosters
A multi-talented multi-award winning truly international band bringing together some of the finest and most experienced Cajun and Zydeco musicians in Europe. Their repertoire includes not just Cajun and Zydeco but also Swamp Blues, Louisiana Rock ‘n Roll, Creole and New Orleans beats.
The band were formed when legendary accordion player Chris Hall and drummer Sam Murray joined forces with 3 former members of The Cajun Pioneers. Chris used his considerable experience and knowledge of the music to hone the band into a tighter, leaner and more authentic machine with a groove that is second to none outside Louisiana.
Joe Le Taxi
Joe Le Taxi play a mix of lively, raw Zydeco dance music, authentic Creole blues, sleazy shuffles and old-school Cajun waltzes influenced by the likes of John Delafose, Boozoo Chavis and Keith Frank, and have packed venues from Sidmouth to Shetland, and across Europe.
Including the legendary Rees Wesson (formerly of Edward II), drummer Andy Watson (Flatville Aces / Chanky Chank), guitarist Kev Torne (Zydeco Diamonds) and a fresh injection of youth from rub-board player Sioned Camlin (Z-Funk / Parti Gungrog) and bassist Clovis Phillips.
The Po' Boys
A fresh new UK band bringing the sounds of the Deep South to British shores. Fronted by award winning accordionist, Lil Jim, tipped by his peers in Louisiana and Europe as one of the brightest hopes for Cajun and Zydeco music this side of the pond.
He is backed by the UK's leading exponents who add traditional rhythms and melodies to cutting edge arrangements. The band also includes two sons of original line up members of R. Cajun, the band who single handedly bought Cajun to the UK 30 years ago.
- Lil Jim - accordion, vocals
- Mitch Proctor - fiddle, vocals
- Murray Brailsford - guitar
- Jake Billington - bass
- Andy Watson - drums
Although a relatively new band on the UK Cajun & Zydeco scene, they are already making a big impression, presenting a fresh approach to a very 'old skool' style of Zydeco dance music, rarely heard in dancehalls today. Inspired by iconic musicians such as Rockin Dopsie snr and Cliften Chenier, from a time when the Blues was at the root of the music and Rock n Roll was just emerging, infectious and irresistible with a large dose of southern soul!
Good rockin Zydeco and Blues delivered with guts and groove from the North Shropshire Bayous. Hell yeah!
- Gavin Lewery - Accordion & Vocal
- Murray Brailsford - Guitar & Vocal
- Ian Johnson - Double Bass
- Paul Holland - Drums
The Flatville Aces
Playing traditional Cajun music from southwest Louisiana, a potent mix of fiddle and accordion, French singing and infectious dance rhythms, and feature their strongest line-up to date, the Flatville Aces are considered the finest traditional Cajun band in the UK.
Accordionist Gavin Lewery is admired as one of the finest exponents of the music outside Louisiana. He also fronts the highly regarded Z-Funk and several Louisiana musicians have recorded his compositions. Gavin is also one of the best Cajun drummers around, and has toured with Sheryl Cormier.
Fiddler and founder member Jock Tyldesley has played and toured at home and abroad as the fiddler for such US greats as Balfa Toujours and Sheryl Cormier, the “Queen of Cajun Music”, as well as accompanying the late, legendary Eddie Lejeune on his last three UK tours.
Fiddler and bass player Vera van Heeringen provides the strong, dancehall bass style honed to perfection by touring with Balfa Toujours and Sheryl Cormier, and was a member of Dutch outfit The Cajun Company for six years. She also doubles up on fiddle to feature the old time, soaring twin fiddle sound more reminiscent of times gone by.
Andrew Tyldesley plays the rolling guitar style that knits the sound of the band together and has also been part of Eddie Lejeune’s touring band. He is also known for his winning smile onstage.
Andy Watson completes the line-up on drums and percussion, a master of many styles and the most sought-after drummer on the European Cajun and Zydeco scene, and a favourite of Crey Ledet and Leon Chavis.
Simple as that! Come along and bring your dancing shoes!
Cheryl & Ian McIlroy
I doubt many regulars on the cajun festival scene will have failed to noticed the McIlroy's arrival in the last 4 years if not least just for Ian's taste in shirts! Ian's love, style and devotion to his Acadian accordions has become more than just playing with his band Rough Chowder, through personal projects with his wife Cheryl, Ian has developed his own accordion style, increased his repertoire and gone in search of more obscure cajun and creole tracks. His playing has started to become known on both sides on the pond as well as in Europe and being part of this large 'Cajun family' gives him the fire in his belly to strive to get better and better. Cheryl has also developed her own style of washboard playing and it has been said by many a sound man (and by her Mum) that she doesn't need a microphone! Cheryl has a developed a strong female cajun voice guaranteed to have you weeping one minute and pinned up against the wall for doing her wrong the next... you have been warned!!
The jam sessions at Bristol have been the one of the highlights when attending the festival so Ian and Cheryl are really honoured to be given the opportunity to lead this years' and they hope you'll join them.
Carol Wilson (zydeco dance)
Carol Wilson first discovered Cajun and Zydeco dancing in Los Angeles where by chance she saw CJ Chenier in a bar and to her amazement young couples got up to dance together! Since then she has made regular trips to Louisiana. As the drummer in the Cajun band Zigazag and Colin & The Crawfish she has studied Cajun and Creole music and played with some of the top musicians there. Over the years Carol has also watched the changing nature of their dances. She has refined her own techniques and has taught at a number of festivals and classes throughout the UK and Europe. Carol aims to make her classes simple and accessible to all because “Dancing should be about having fun and enjoying the music.”
Kay Anderson (cajun dance)
Kay Anderson has been dancing all her life but got hooked on cajun and zydeco music a number of years ago at Broadstairs Folk Festival. Finding gigs and workshops locally proved difficult so she started her own regular dance workshops in Kent where she offered to share what she had learnt. She has led the cajun and or zydeco dance workshops at the Bristol Cajun & Zydeco Festival since 2004, at the Gloucester International Cajun & Zydeco Festival since 2006 and each year at the Broadstairs Folk Festival since 2001 - as well as teaching a monthly cajun and zydeco dance workshops in Kent! If you’re down south, look up kentcajun.org.uk and come and join in the fun. "You learn by doing!"
MCs and & DJs Lil' Queenie and Flying Home from Swamprock, London
Nigel Bewley (aka "Flying Home") has been DJ-ing since 1972 and was bitten by Zydeco music in 1986 when hanging around the offices and studios of Island Records he met Buckwheat Zydeco, the label's new signing. Nigel has a huge record collection of many different styles and when DJ-ing likes nothing better to make people dance to tunes he loves. Laissez les bons temps roulez - vous avez raison!
Carole Lateman (aka "Lil' Queenie") has always been a passionate fan of music and dance. In 1988, on her first visit to New Orleans, she discovered the exciting rhythms of Cajun and Zydeco music and dance. In 2004, together with Neil Papworth, she started London’s Swamp Rock Club, putting on regular dances with live Zydeco bands, and also DJ-ing with her husband, Nigel. Together, they have run stages at The Thames Festival, promoted gigs at The 100 Club and other London venues, and DJ-ed at numerous dances and private parties. As a dancer, she knows what music to play to get that dance floor jumping!