Joe Le Taxi
To celebrate the 30th Anniversary since their formation in 1989, Cajun/Zydeco hotshots Joe Le Taxi & The Zydeco Band are playing some tasty gigs this summer and we were lucky to snap them up for the Bristol Cajun & Zydeco Festival! Joe Le Taxi play a mix of lively, raw Zydeco dance music, authentic Creole blues, sleazy shuffles and old-school Cajun waltzes combining road-hardened experience with youthful exuberance. Including the legendary Joe Le Taxi on accordion, guitarist Kev Torne, drummer Barry Jones and a fresh injection of youth from rub-board player Sioned Camlin and bassist Clovis Phillips, Joe Le Taxi are always ready to get the dance halls jumping
From the bayous of Essex and the backstreets of Paris, Acadian Strings are a fiddle led band playing traditional and new Cajun and Creole music. Featuring Charlie Skelton on fiddle and vocals, Naik Peudon on fiddle, alto, and ‘tit fer, Peter Dunhill on guitar and vocals, and Carol Wilson on double bass, vocals, ‘tit fer, and frottoir. Long steeped in Cajun music from their experiences playing with various bands throughout the U.K and Europe, the band draws from early recordings, through the swing influenced 30’s Cajun string bands, to contemporary Cajun music to create a fresh interpretation of two steps and waltzes with innovative arrangements featuring twin fiddles and rich harmony vocals.
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 Corey Ledet and Leon Chavis.
Simple as that! Come along and bring your dancing shoes!
Cajun Roosters 3
Three people, three countries...one love! As part of The Cajun Roosters, Chris Hall from England, David Buyle from Belgium and Hazel Scott from Scotland, usually play their adopted but beloved Cajun music all over the festival stages of Europe with that big rockin’ rhythm section behind them. Here, the trio reach back to the writers and performers who most inspired them: folks like Dewey Balfa, Nathan Abshire and Cleoma Breaux. Expect a laid back yet kicking afternoon down home set with accordion, fiddle, guitar and 3 voices working together in harmony and unison! Traditional back porch Cajun music from 3 of Europe’s finest exponents in the intimate environment. A perfect way to liven up a lazy Sunday afternoon!
Double Shots are put together by Chris Hall, a guy who knows a thing or two about Louisiana music. His previous (and current bands) include R. Cajun And the Zydeco Brothers, Cajun Roosters, The Bearcats, and Zydecomotion. Alongside Chris Hall on Accordion, will be Hazel Scott on Acoustic Guitar and Scrubboard, Ben Topley on Bass, Murray Brailsford on Electric Guitar, and Andy Watson on Drums.
They play Creole and “old skool” early Zydeco grooves. Songs by the likes of Geno Delafose, Boozoo Chavis, Preston Frank, Bois-Sec Ardoin and Jeffrey Broussard alongside some of their own compositions in the Louisiana groove.
Louisiana Creole music is maybe best described as a music that holds the mid ground between Cajun and Zydeco. It has the melodies of Cajun and the underlying Creole rhythms that characterised early Zydeco music.
Double Shots will be taking the festival out on a high note! Come party down with the double shots.
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!"
Carol Wilson will teach the Zydeco workshop this year. She 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.”
BAL4 Cajun Band
BAL4 comprises a quartet of dedicated and enthusiastic English musicians who perform traditional Cajun ‘Bal’ dance music originating from the bayous of Louisiana, USA. The Cajun phrase "Bal de Maison" originated from dances held at someone’s house - typically in the front room. These dances were usually announced by the host of the party simply yelling from his or her porch to the neighbours! The music is played in the style of the legendary Balfa Brothers, and features Cajun French harmony vocals, twin fiddles, Cajun accordion, rhythm guitar, ‘tifer (triangle - forged from the tines of an iron pitchfork) and other improvised percussion instruments.
The band members are Dennis Parnham (accordion, fiddle, vocals), Liz Manners (tifer, frottoir, vocals), Richie Wild (acoustic guitar, vocals) and John Trimble (fiddle, vocals).
BAL4 will be welcoming everyone to the festival on Friday evening and leading the jam sessions on Saturday and Sunday.
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!