I was born in Bayou Vista, Louisiana and raised in Lafayette by musicians and storytellers from Mamou. When I was 12 I started playing the cello and at 15 I started playing the fiddle. At 17 I began touring and performing with Dewey Balfa, Marc Savoy and DL Menard.
Over the years I have built my repertoire and learned an old style of playing which is evident in my sound today. During my career I have played alongside the likes of Canray Fontenot and Wade Frugé, Dirk Powell & Christine Balfa, Michael Doucet, Steve Riley, Natalie McMaster and Kenny Baker. I have formed several notable bands including Charivari, Tasso, The Lafayette Rhythm Devils, Racines and McCauley, Reed, Vidrine. In 1992 McCauley, Reed, Vidrine received the Cajun French Music Association President’s Award for Commitment to the Preservation of Traditional Cajun Music.
Since 2008 I have performed on four Grammy Nominated albums (including my project band Racines in 2008) and in 2009 I was awarded a Grammy with BeauSoleil for the album “Live at the 2008 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival”. Of course I’m also a Traditional Music Instructor. Besides offering private lessons and online fiddle breakdowns I have taught at Fiddle Camps hosted by Jay Ungar, Mark O’Connor, and Louisiana Folk Roots. In addition I have worked with the Smithsonian Institution Office of Folklife Programs in Louisiana schools as well as International conferences since 1989.
I currently play with BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet and live in Scott, LA with my wife and daughters where I offer lessons in The Front Room, our working music and art studio. It is here that I proudly pass on the unwritten tradition of Cajun fiddling and storytelling.
- Kevin Burke – Irish Fiddle, 2008
- Frankie Gavin – Irish Fiddle, 2004
- Brendan Mulvihill – Irish Fiddle, 1994
- Del Russ – Irish Fiddle, 1992
- Eileen Ivers – Irish Fiddle, 1990
- Wade Frugé – Cajun Fiddle, 1988-1989
- Canray Fontenot – Creole Fiddle, 1988-1989
- The Front Room, Scott, LA – March 2008 to Present – Co-owner & Co-coordinator – Group and private lessons in a variety of styles and instruments for students of all ages and abilities.
- University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA – 2013 to 2015 – Adjunct Professor – Cajun Ensemble Director under The Tommy Comeaux Endowed Chair in Traditional Music.
- Louisiana Folk Roots Cajun & Creole Summer Camp for Kids, Lafayette, LA – 2009 to Present – Advanced Fiddle Instructor – Instruct students ages 8-14 in traditional Cajun music at a week long day camp.
- Louisiana Folk Roots Dewey Balfa Cajun & Creole Heritage Week, Ville Platte, LA – 2003 to 2014 – Beginner/Intermediate Fiddle Instructor – Instruct students of all ages in traditional Cajun music.
- Mark O’Connor Fiddle Camp, Charleston, SC – 2008 & 2009 – Cajun Fiddle Instructor – Instruct students of all ages in traditional Cajun music.
- Ashokan Fiddle and Dance Camp, Olivebridge, NY – 2001 to 2006 – Cajun/Creole Fiddle Instructor – Instruct students of all ages in traditional Cajun and Creole music, as well as band labs.
- Augusta Heritage Fiddle Camp, Elkins, WV – 1994-200I – Cajun/Creole Fiddle Instructor – Instruct students of all ages in traditional Cajun and Creole music.
- Smithsonian Institution Office of Folklife Programs – Florida Keys Traditional Music Festival, Marathon, FL – National Council for the Traditional Arts – 2011 & 2012 – Performed with Michael and David Doucet to spearhead an American roots music festival.
- Local Learning Lafayette, Lafayette, LA – The National Network for Folk Arts in Education – 2009-2012 – Partnered with teachers at L.J.Alleman Middle School to incorporate folk arts and formal education.
- Festival of American Folklife, Washington, DC – Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage – 1998 – Performed for two weeks with Dewey Balfa as a representative of contemporary Cajun culture on The National Mall.
- Masters of the Folk Violin, North American Tour – Sponsored by the National Council for the Traditional Arts – 1994-1995 – This tour highlighted Irish, Cape Breton, bluegrass, jazz/blues, Cajun and Western long bow fiddle styles and featured artists such as Brendan Mulvihill, Natalie McMaster, Kenny Baker and Michael Doucet.
Cajun Bands & Awards
- Cajun French Music Association – 2015 – Appreciation Award
- BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet – 2006 to Present – Fiddle & Bass-2009 Grammy Award Recipients; 2010 Grammy Award Nominees
- Racines – 2005 to Present – Bass & Second Fiddle – 2010 Grammy Award Nominees
- Charivari – 1997 to 2006 – Band Leader & Lead Fiddle
- Mamou Prairie Band – 1996 – Bass & Second Fiddle
- Balfa Toujour – 1995 – Bass & Second Fiddle
- Tasso – 1992 to 1994 – Lead Fiddle
- McCauley, Reed, Vidrine – 1990-1991 – Lead Fiddle-1992 Cajun French Music Association (CFMA) Award for the Preservation of Traditional Cajun Music