Master accordionist and singer Bruce Daigrepont is the dean of traditional Cajun music in New Orleans. He is also a talented composer whose songs have become Cajun standards. As The Times-Picayune observed, “Bruce Daigrepont is making Cajun music for the ages.”
Cajuns descend from the French-speaking Acadians who were uprooted from Nova Scotia in 1755 by the British, and then forced onto ships sailing south. Some survivors made their way to the bayous and prairies of southwest Louisiana. Here, from a blending of older French and Acadian music with country, blues, and Caribbean influences, emerged the fiddle-and-accordion-centered music that is emblematic of Cajun culture today.
Daigrepont was born in New Orleans to a Cajun family with deep roots in rural Avoyelles Parish. By age five Bruce was learning guitar from his father, and at 20 he was inspired to pick up the accordion after attending the 1978 Festivals Acadiens et Créoles. In the early 1980s, his Bouree Cajun Band almost singlehandedly popularized Cajun music and dance in New Orleans. Decades later he’s still going strong. Backed by his longtime bandmates, fiddler Gina Forsyth and the razor-sharp rhythm section of Jim Markway and Mike Barras, Bruce Daigrepont is a global ambassador for Cajun music.