Jesse Lége, accordion
The life work of Jesse Lége is to bring traditional, foot-stompin’ Cajun dance hall music from the dusty back roads of southwest Louisiana, coast to coast and around the world.
Jesse defines traditional Louisiana dance hall music. His unmistakeable hard driving style of accordion playing and his powerful voice will get even the most staid listener up on the dance floor.
Darren Wallace, fiddle
A native of Lafayette, LA, Darren Wallace started playing fiddle, guitar, mandolin and bass fiddle at the age of 15. His search for the area’s older musicians led him to master fiddlers such as Lionel LeLeux and Varise Conner.
He absorbed their musical traditions, and went on to develop his own unique style of playing.
Darren has shared the stage with many of the legends of Cajun and Zydeco music. He has played, toured and recorded with many great Cajun bands.
Ellen Keane, dance
Ellen Keane has spent most of her life studying dance forms and dancing bodies. Her focus is on knowing our bodies in space and in relationship to others, the power of nonverbal communication, whether intended or not. Partnering has specific challenges that cross social dance forms. Cajun dance is her favorite form of partnering. She approaches her classes like a clinic and likes to make dancers more comfortable and confident in their ability to dance with multiple partners with success.
Betsy Neil, beginning fiddle
Betsy Neil is an accomplished player in many styles. She has been performing since 1976 in numerous groups, including the Buffalo Gals. In Bayou Grenouille, she plays traditional Cajun dance music of rural southwest Louisiana, in a double-fiddle style that traces back to the Acadian French dances along the Louisiana bayous in the 1800’s. She teaches strings in the LaCrosse, Wisconsin schools and will be teaching beginning Cajun fiddle.
John Terr, guitar, tit fer (Cajun triangle)
Charlie Terr, intermediate accordion
Charlie and John Terr have contributed fabulous musicianship and charm to our Cajun Weekends since the beginning. They are both founders of the renowned Chicago Cajun Aces and continue to teach, play and inspire audiences and students across the country.
John plays with the Terr-Douglas Quintet and the New Riverside Ramblers. John will teach two Cajun guitar workshops and tit fer (Cajun triangle), and Charlie will teach two intermediate accordion workshops.
Brian O’Donnell, intermediate and beg/int fiddle
Brian O’ Donnell plays fiddle for Madison’s The Cajun Strangers. One of their celebrated albums was awarded the 2010 Prix DeHors de Nous from the Cajun French Music Association. Brian has traveled many times to Louisiana and has studied with Courtney Granger and Kevin Wimmer. He will teach two fiddle workshops, one for intermediate students, and one for both beginning and intermediate.
Gene Losey, beginning accordion
Gene Losey will guide beginning accordion players in basic scales, fingering and the techniques that “make it sound Cajun.” Don’t have an accordion? We may be able to find one for you to use if you inquire early!
Gene will teach two beginning accordion workshops on Saturday. Beginning students also have the chance to learn with Charlie Terr on Sunday morning at a third workshop.