Cajun & Creole Music & Dance Weekend
March 31 – April 2, 2023
Online registration is now closed. We may have spaces available for the workshops; call (608) 924-4000 to inquire.
Evening parties (not including meals) are open to walk-ins. Please bring proof of vaccination.
Welcome to a weekend of Cajun and Creole music and dance with the very finest tradition-bearers. We offer multiple levels of instruction in fiddle, accordion, guitar, and dance, plus cultural discussions, jam sessions, parties, traditional food prepared by RedBarn Catering, and more! Our 2023 Cajun & Creole Music & Dance Weekend will be held March 31 – April 2 and feature Jesse Lége and Edward Poullard.
Can’t come to the entire weekend? Join us for an evening dance! Walk-ins are welcome!
On This Page:
-Health & Safety
Questions? Contact Kelli Emerson at email@example.com or by calling (608) 924-4000.
Click here to view the Cajun & Creole Weekend schedule
The festival features workshops in fiddle, accordion, and dance, a cultural session, evening parties, catered meals, and more.
Limited loaner accordions may be available for the beginner workshop. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in reserving a loaner instrument.
Health & Safety
All participants and staff at this event must be fully vaccinated. As part of the registration process you will be required to upload proof of vaccination and complete a waiver acknowledging that you are aware of and willingly assume the risks associated with attending in-person programming.
Masks are strongly encouraged, and will be required if Dane and/or Iowa Counties have high levels of COVID transmissibility.
If you test positive for or have symptoms of COVID, please do NOT attend the festival. Instead, contact Folklore Village at (608) 924-4000 to discuss your registration.
Health and safety policies for Cajun & Creole Music & Dance Weekend are subject to change by the Folklore Village Board of Directors’ review and the local health situation at the time of this event.
Registration is now closed. We may have spaces available in the workshops; call (608) 924-4000 to inquire.
Walk-ins are welcome at the evening dances (dinner not included).
Full-Time Adult Registration*
$270 before noon Central Time on March 17
$290 after noon Central Time on March 17
Part-Time Adult Registration*
Friday evening dance: $30
All day Saturday: $190
Saturday breakfast: $15
Saturday AM workshops: $56
Saturday lunch: $20
Saturday PM workshops: $56
Saturday supper & evening dance: $60
Saturday evening dance (no supper): $30
Sunday breakfast: $15
Sunday AM workshops: $52
Sunday lunch: $15
*For teen and youth prices, contact the Program Manager, Kelli, at (608) 924-4000.
For information about our policies, including cancellation policies, please click here.
It takes a village to put on our festivals. Be a part of the dishwashing crew and help out by washing tableware (plates, silverware, and cups) after meals. By filling this essential role you will receive reduced tuition: dishwashers pay just $120 for the entire festival! Please contact Program Manager Kelli Emerson at 608-924-4000 or email@example.com to inquire about dishwashing scholarships.
Jesse Lége, Advanced Accordion
Jesse Lége was born November 6, 1951 in Gueydan, Louisiana. Growing up in a rural, pre-electricity home with a large family, Jesse spoke Cajun French as his first language and learned music from relatives and neighbors. Jesse learned guitar and harmonica first from a cousin of his father, but soon moved to the accordion after becoming inspired by older accordionists like Amede Breaux, Lawrence Walker, Nathan Abshire, Amede Ardoin, and Marc Savoy, to name a few. Jesse first heard these artists on his family’s beloved transistor radio, where he also listened intently to the honky-tonk and country music pouring over airwaves from East Texas. As a musician, Jesse got his start in Southwest Lousiana’s dancehalls during his youth, building a reputation as a powerful and articulate artist anchored in tradition.
Over the years, Jesse Lége has played with some the great artists in Cajun and Creole music (or just “French music” as he calls it, a favored expression of good friend Danny Poullard). He performed frequently his Danny’s brother, Ed Poullard. In the early 1990s, Jesse performed and recorded for Swallow Records as the Lake Charles Ramblers, which later became the Southern Ramblers. In the late 1990s Jesse met the young fiddler Joel Savoy, and the two struck up a friendship and musical partnership. Together, Jesse & Joel have recorded three albums and toured the world. After connecting with country artist Caleb Klauder in 2011, Jesse and Joel formed the Cajun Country Revival, a group that finally brought together Jesse’s early love for honky-tonk music with his lifelong work in Cajun dance music. In the nearly 50 years that Jesse Lége has been playing music, he’s received most of the awards in the field, from multiple CFMA awards to an induction in the Cajun Music Fall of Fam, from the Lake Charles Chapter.
For Jesse, the dance has always been at the center of his music. His unmistakable hard-driving style of accordion and his powerful voice have come to define traditional Louisiana dancehall music. He has become an inspiration to multiple generations of Cajun and Creole musicians, a sterling example of the pure power that beats at the heart of traditional Cajun music.
Edward Poullard, Advanced Fiddle
Ed Poullard of Beaumont has brought his unique and captivating style of Creole fiddling across the world. He learned the music directly from his musical family, with accordion players on both sides. His first instrument was the accordion, which he still plays to this day on instruments that he builds himself. When he switched to playing his grandfather’s fiddle, Poullard rapidly emerged as a significant player of Creole music.
Poullard’s style and repertoire developed out of a long apprenticeship with legendary Creole fiddler Canray Fontenot. Poullard has been internationally recognized playing a unique variety of Creole music. Poullard has the unique stature of being both an apprentice with Canray Fontenot and then a master artist in Texas Folklife’s statewide Apprenticeship Program. He has played with Jesse Legé, Lawrence Ardoin, Preston Frank, his late brother Danny Poullard, and many others. He has recorded numerous albums, including several put out by Arhoolie Records.
Today, Ed Poullard is regarded rightly as the most significant Creole fiddler and accordionist, and he has brought his music very far and wide from Texas without ever losing his deep connection to the Texas music. His fiddling reflects his embrace of tradition combined with his own innovative flair and sense of music history in the region.
Ellen Keane, Dance
Ellen began social dancing at a very young age by standing upon her fathers’ feet. She enjoyed attending family dances for throughout her childhood and was turned on to Cajun music and dance in the 1990s. She aims to share the beautiful Zen that can be found and enjoyed by dancing to Cajun music. Ellen is a professional dance instructor and choreographer and is the Artistic Director of Keane Sense of Rhythm Tap Dance Company.
Eric Mohring, Intermediate Fiddle
Eric has performed Cajun music for over 30 years. He is a nationally recognized Cajun fiddler whose fluency in French contributes to his authentic Cajun vocals. Eric has been a fiddle instructor at Cajun/Creole week at Augusta Heritage Center, and played for many years with the nationally-known Bone Tones. A versatile musician who plays a number of styles of music, he can also be found playing mandolin and fiddle with the Café Accordion Orchestra.
Brian O’Donnell, Beginning Fiddle
Brian caught the Cajun fiddle bug at the 1999 Ashokan camp in New York, and shortly afterwards started a jam session at his home which evolved into the Cajun Strangers. Brian is a much sought after fiddler in Cajun music circles and he also plays old time music. In addition to the Cajun Strangers, he plays fiddle and guitar in the Madison honky-tonk band the Dirty Shirts, and he plays fiddle and guitar with Colin in the Barley Brothers.
John Terr, Guitar
Charlie Terr, Intermediate Accordion
Charlie and John Terr have been bringing their fabulous musicianship and charm to our Cajun & Creole Weekends since the beginning. They are founders of the renowned Chicago Cajun Aces and continue to teach, play, and inspire audiences and students across the country.
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!
The Friends of Folklore Village will be in house offering raffle tickets, for a chance to win this spectacular quilt, or other great prizes!
We can only sell tickets when you are in the state of Wisconsin, so here’s your chance to win this hand-made, full-size quilt. The winning ticket will be selected during the Friends’ Spring Hop with the fabulous Ladies Must Swing, on April 22, 2023. (You do not need to be present to win).
Sharing meals together is a time-honored tradition at Folklore Village. Festival meals are prepared in-house by the fabulous RedBarn Catering team. Using fresh ingredients, head chef J. Miller creates delicious, cultural meals with vegetarian and gluten free options. Have other dietary needs? Please note these in your registration form. While we cannot guarauntee that every dietary request can be accommodated, the RedBarn Catering team does their best to accommodate everyone and can provide information on potential allergens during the festival.
Bunkhouse (Very rustic): $15 per person per night
Stay on-site within walking distance (about 3 blocks) of Farwell Hall (main activities building). The bunkhouses are heated, with cots provided, and camp-style toilets and handpump nearby. Showers are located in Farwell Hall. Bring your own bedding, pillow, towel, flashlight, etc. Men and woman are housed in separate buildings. You can register for bunkhouse accommodations via the festival registration form.
Bunkhouse capacity will be limited. Availability is subject to review by the Folklore Village Board of Directors.
Tenting: $10 per tent per night
Stay on our beautiful grounds! Many sites are available. No campfires allowed. Showers and bathrooms are located in Farwell Hall (main activity building). You can register for tent camping via the festival registration form.
RV Camping with Electrical Hook-Up: $15 per RV per night
**Extremely limited; reserve a spot early**
Folklore Village has limited electrical hook-ups for RVs. To register for a spot with electrical hook-up please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Motels are available with 7-15 miles of Folklore Village. Please make your own arrangements.
Super 8 (608) 935-3888
Deer Valley Lodge (608)924-1600
Best Western (608)935-7739
Pine Ridge Motel (608)935-3386
Quality Inn (608)987-4747
Lodging in Mineral Point