Balfa Week May 5-10, 2019
There’s nothing like Louisiana Folk Roots’ Balfa Week! Our annual Dewey Balfa Cajun and Creole Heritage Week is not a school, or a festival, or a family reunion – it’s all those things and more! It’s “The Greatest Week of Cajun and Creole Culture on the Planet!”
At Balfa Week, you can learn knee-to-knee with master musicians and culture bearers surrounded by great folks from across the globe. Our motto is “Jouer. Danser. Manger. Répéter. (Jam. Dance. Eat. Repeat.)” – and during Balfa Week, you’ll experience all that and so much more.
Balfa Week features: Five days of intensive classes on fiddle, guitar and accordion; Twice-daily participatory teaching sessions on Cajun & Creole Vocals; Five days of instructor-coached Band Labs; Nightly Dances with fantastic Cajun and Creole artists; Five or more artist-led Jam des Amis sessions; Intimate afternoon words-and-music sessions with accomplished and legendary Featured Artists; Afternoon Lagniappe Sessions on a variety of topics; and more. All meals are included starting Sunday with Full-Time Registration. Lodging options on site are Campsites (available by contacting Chicot State Park) with water and electricity as well as a group dorm. If you would like to stay off-site in other accommodations there are options available in and around the surrounding area.
Sign Up at the bottom of the page
“Bird” paul edwards
Everybody loves them some bird! Come see him at Balfa Week. Paul Edwards, though more prominently and affectionately known as Bird, is a Eunice native who embodies our southern Louisiana culture. He speaks both Cajun French and English and is a long-standing member of our music community. Though he can’t read sheet music, he has worked with many well known bands and artists such as Horace Trahan, Geno Delafose, Balfa Toujours, Roy Carrier, Steve Riley, and many others. He is a beloved teacher who educates with patience and care. He has previously lead several rhythms classes for us at Blackpot Camp. When instructing, he places a strong emphasis on listening when he teaches, so come listen to him and learn a thing or two! Register now!
Brazos Huval is a three time Grammy nominated Cajun musician. He plays with the well known band, Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys and is “known throughout the South for (his) hydromatic groove.” He is a skilled artist and even better teacher. He teaches the Cajun fiddle at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and runs his own music school, Brazos Huval School of Music. Who better to get tips on your playing from? Come see us and Brazos in a couple of months! Register here now!
The wonderful Cedric Watson will also be sharing his knowledge on all things music at Balfa Week 2019 (May 5th - 10th). “One of the brightest young talents to emerge in Cajun, Creole and Zydeco (Louisiana French) music over the last decade, Cedric Watson is a four-time Grammy-nominated fiddler, singer, accordionist & songwriter with seemingly unlimited potential.” Read more about Cedric on his website www.cedricwatson.com. It’ll be a pleasure to have him join us! Register today to learn for the best and the brightest of Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco musicians.
Introducing Chas Justus as yet another fantasitc member of our Balfa Week 2019 Staff! “Hailing from Memphis, Tennessee, Chas was born to play the guitar. He plays with a confidence and diversity that belies his young age being able to seamlessly switch from any of the numerous blues styles he’s mastered to country jazz and the Southwest Louisiana guitar styles that he has fallen in love with. Not only has his guitar playing been featured on numerous albums to come out of the Louisiana music scene but also his songs have been on quite a few albums, including Linda Ronstadt and Ann Savoy’s Grammy Nominated Adieu False Heart. His individualistic guitar playing, singing, and songwriting mark Chas Justus as one of the next Southern troubadours with a new song that sounds refreshingly old.” Chas currently plays for the Revelers. Join him May 5th - 10th at Balfa Week! Register now!
Join Corey Ledet for Balfa Week 2019, May 5th - 10th! Corey was raised in Houston, Texas, but grew up spending summers with family in Parks, Louisiana. His love for the Creole/Zydeco music was instant and hard for him to ignore. He studied the originators of the music such as Clifton Chenier, John Delafose, and Boozoo Chavis. By the age of 10, he was playing with Wilbert Thibodeaux and the Zydeco Rascals. Since, he has mastered his instruments and released several albumns. Corey’s versatile sound enables him to please any audience, whether he is playing a solo acoustical set or he is backed up by a full band. Learn more about Corey on his website http://coreyledet.com/web/. Register for Balfa Week now!
Jam out with Daniel Coolik at Balfa Week 2019, May 5th - 10th! “A consummate musician’s musician, Daniel Coolik, originally from Atlanta, Georgia, swept into the Lafayette scene in 2009 and quickly added his name to many respectable rosters, loaning his talents to such groups as Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole, The Red Stick Ramblers, Les Malfecteurs, and The Yvette Landry Band. Daniel was already an adept multi-instrumentalist in the Asheville, North Carolina scene where he focused on jazz mandolin as well as old time Appalachian traditional music, and has since emerged as a violinist extraordinaire here in Acadiana. His abilities have taken him all over the globe, including Haiti, Thailand, most countries in Western Europe, and Canada.” Daniel is currently playing with the amazingly talented band, The Revelers. Come to see him and many other artists at Balfa Week! Register Now!
Learn lots from David Greely at Balfa Week 2019, May 5th - 10th! “David Greely’s French Louisiana music is opening a new wing in his tradition. David has taken the swampy syncopations of Cajun music and its renaissance French dialect to new level of sophistication without losing its urgency and texture. In solo acoustic performance, he sounds like two or three fiddles, weaving accompaniment to his vocals as if it’s someone else singing. Presenting his concerts in English or French, he embraces all the aspects of his heritage that a fiddle and voice can reach- ancient ballads, cane field blues, yearning waltzes and fiery two steps, and melds his ancestral legacy with his own adroit compositions and stories of the rich souls who kept this music and language alive.David was born in Baton Rouge of Cajun and Irish ancestry, and learned Cajun music on dance hall stages throughout South Louisiana, in the archives of Cajun and Creole music at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, and from his apprenticeship to Cajun fiddle master and National Heritage Fellow Dewey Balfa. As a founding member of Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, David toured Folk Festivals worldwide for 23 years, and was nominated for four Grammy Awards. He has received the Louisiana Artist Fellowship Award for Folklife Performance, and is an adjunct instructor of Cajun fiddle at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.” Learn more about David at his website http://davidgreely.com/bio. And register for Balfa Week TODAY!
Introducing one of our Balfa Week 2019 Host! Drew was born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana and developed an interest in Cajun music in his late teens. At 20, he began playing the accordion and started learning the words to many of the songs in his huge Cajun music repertoire. For more than 15 years, Drew has been regarded as one of the best of the “New Generation” of dancehall musicians being heavily influenced by legends Belton Richard, Aldus Roger, Phillip Alleman, Walter Mouton, Jesse Lege’, and Lawrence Walker just to name a few. With bands, the Pine Leaf Boys (4x Grammy Nominated) and T’Monde, he has brought Cajun music and Cajun culture to 24 countries and 47 states. Meet Drew and all of the other members of T’Monde at Balfa Week, May 5th - 10th, 2019. Register now!
Who’s ready to learn about fiddles, accordions, and bugs? Forest has joined the Balfa Week staff, and we couldn’t be more excited! He’ll be teaching accordion and fiddle playing. He will also be leading the Bug Crawl, which is a great opportunity to hike and learn about our indigenous insects! Which he is more than qualified to do, being an entomologist! Forest Huval is an intrepid upcoming musician with a voyageur’s soul. A native of Cecilia, Louisiana. Forest was influenced by legendary Cajun musicians. His soulful vocals along with his effortless accordion and intense fiddle playing can get any crowd up and dancing. The young accordionist and fiddle player continues to hone his melodic craft with a reverence for masterworks and respectful nudge to the edges in original efforts. Forest aspires on working diligently to keep the true authentic style of Cajun music alive both within and beyond Louisiana. Check out his website at www.foresthuval.com. Register for Balfa Week now and join the fun!
Meet one of the hosts you’ll be seeing every day of Balfa Week 2019 ! The “Jolie Blonde” of the band T’Monde, Kelli Jones has been playing fiddle since the age of fifteen and started out playing old time music in North Carolina, where she is from. In 2006 she moved to Lafayette, Louisiana to study dance at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and learn Cajun fiddle as well. She has been living there since, soaking up the culture and playing with bands such as the Magnolia Sisters, Double Date (with Joel Savoy, Linzay Young, and Emma Young), her father Carl Jones, and many local wonderful Louisiana musicians, including members of the Pine Leaf Boys, the Red Stick Ramblers, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, and her fellow band mates of T’Monde, Drew Simon and Megan Brown. She has also traveled beyond Louisiana to perform and teach at festivals throughout the United States, including Ashokan Fiddle & Dance Camp, Augusta Heritage Center Cajun & Creole week and the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes. We are so lucky to have her join our team! Check out more about Kelli and T’Monde at www.tmonde.com. And register for Balfa Week TODAY!
Kevin Wimmer is an astonishing addition to our Balfa Week 2019 Staff! Kevin Wimmer has been playing fiddle since the tender age of three. He performed frequently with Dewey Balfa and learned the essence of the tradition directly from him. Over the years he has performed most notably all over the globe with Preston Frank and the blues and swing inspired Red Stick Ramblers. Kevin brings a Creole influence to the Mamou Playboys, as exhibited by his unique fiddle repertoire and his powerful vocals. Join us and Kevin May 5th - 10th and register for Balfa Week now!
megan brown constantin
Megan Constantin, a Balfa Week 2019 Host, is originally from Tepetate, LA and grew up to the sound of Cajun music at her grandparent’s Cajun restaurant. Singing all her life, Megan took to Cajun music and with it the French language at the age of 18. Joining first with her accordionist brother, Briggs Brown and his band. She was a co-founder of the all female Cajun group Les Bassettes and has sat in with such musicians and groups as The Pine Leaf Boys, The Lafayette Rhythm Devils and Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, performing at many cultural events, including Festivals Acadiens et Creoles, Folk Roots Balfa Camp, the New Orleans Jazz Festival, Festival International de la Louisiane and many more across the country and internationally. She currently plays and has been with T’Monde for the last eight years. Megan has been teaching dance, art, and song to kids of all ages for 15 years at different schools and cultural/educational camps such as Folk Roots for Kids and the Augusta Heritage - Cajun & Creole Week. Meet Megan and Register for Balfa Week NOW!
There are Four Ways to do Balfa Week.
All our instructional offerings, dances and meals plus exclusive access to our Check-in Service.
Be a full time participant! Access to all classes and all meals are included starting Sunday with Full-Time Registration. Lodging options on site are The Group Dorm (you will be prompted during FULL-TIME registration) or reserving a campsite by contacting Chicot State Park. If you would like to stay off-site in other accommodations there are hotel options available in and around the surrounding area.
Five days of instrument and Cajun and Creole. Vocal class including breakfast or lunch daily $225
Please call the office at 337-234-8360 to register for Morning Classes.
From 8 am. – Midnight, limit three days. $125 per day
Please call the office at 337-234-8360 to register for Single Days.
A LA CARTE:
Come by anytime and we’ll come up with a plan for you! Afternoon Lagniappe sessions are $15 and other part-time offerings range from $10-$50. Please call the office at 337-234-8360 to register for A La Carte.
We are pleased to announce that Balfa Week has returned to beautiful Chicot State Park, located just outside of the historic town of Ville Platte Louisiana! Follow the link above to visit the park website. We will be using primarily the area surrounding The South Landing which includes, cabins, group camp, picnic areas and playground, a boat launch, a fishing pier and dock with boat rentals.
You can stay with us all week long for the low price of $25 a night in our Group Lodge. A Summer camp style bunkhouse divided by gender where you will have your very own bunk, top, and bottom!
If you prefer hotel accommodation there is a Best Western in Ville Platte. The number is (337) 360-9961
Check out our Chicot Park, Legrand Hoorah, Dewey Balfa Week Chicot Survival Guide!