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Ornamentation in Cajun & Creole fiddling

Friday, June 17, 2016

If you want to learn more about ornamentation in Cajun & Creole fiddling then check out my newest post at The Vlog, my video blog at This week I introduce some of the decorations that you can add to a tune once you've learned the notes. Tell your friends, stay inspired and enjoy!

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Playing Since: 1981
Experience Level: Expert/Professional

[Teaching] [Jamming] [Socializing] [Helping]

Occupation: Grammy Award winning multi-instrumentalist, traditional music instructor, and storyteller

My Instruments:
I'm known as a Cajun fiddler but I play a variety of instruments including guitar, bass (upright, electric & 5-string), bouzouki, mandolin, harmonica and drums.

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
Kate Bush, BeauSoleil, The Shins, Dennis McGee, Canray Fontenot, Michael Doucet

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Profile Info:
Visible to: Public
Created 7/24/2012
Last Visit 5/11/2023

Although I am known mostly as a Cajun fiddler I teach a variety of styles and instruments to students of all ages and abilities. I was born in Bayou Vista, Louisiana and raised in Lafayette amongst a family of musicians and storytellers from Mamou. At an early age, I was introduced to the sounds of traditional Cajun music by my father Bob Reed of the Mamou Prairie Band. When I was 15 I started playing the fiddle. Through my father I became acquainted with some of Acadiana's masters such as Canray Fontenot and Wade Frugé. When I was 17 I began touring and performing with Dewey Balfa, Marc Savoy and DL Menard. Through the influence of these men I 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 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 and in 2008 my project band Racines received a Grammy Nomination. In addition to performing I am also a Traditional Music Instructor. Over the years, I have taught at several Fiddle Camps, including those hosted by Jay Ungar and Mark O'Connor. Since 1989 I have worked with the Smithsonian Institution Office of Folklife Programs in Louisiana schools as well as International conferences. I currently play with BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet. Since 2008 I have performed on four Grammy Nominated albums and in 2009 I was awarded a Grammy with BeauSoleil for their album "Live at the 2008 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival". I proudly pass on the unwritten tradition of Cajun fiddling throughout Acadiana and the world. I live in Scott, LA with my wife and daughter where group and private lessons are offered in The Front Room, our working music and art studio.

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