Cajun Fiddlers Joel Savoy and Kelli Jones-Savoy Come to the Jones House on Sunday, March 26
The Southern Appalachian region is well-known for strong old-time and bluegrass fiddling traditions. Southern Louisiana has a strong fiddling culture of its own that helps drive Cajun music. These traditions come together at the Jones House on Sunday, March 26, when Joel Savoy and Kelli Jones-Savoy present Cajun fiddle workshops and an evening house-concert performance.
“We love good fiddling at the Jones House,” says concert organizer, Mark Freed. “And we are excited to have both hands-on and listening opportunities with these enthusiastic tradition bearers.”
Joel Savoy grew up in Eunice, Lousiana in a very musical family. His father, Marc, is a well-known accordion maker and player, and his mother, Ann, is a musicologist and performer. Growing up in a musical community afforded Joel time with some of the Cajun fiddling legends, like Dennis McGee, Dewey Balfa, and Michael Doucet. Along with his parents and brother, Joel frequently plays with the Savoy Family band.
In performance, Joel represents his culture with an authority that few people his age can, and his playing leaves no doubt that Cajun music is still very much alive. He can be found playing with just about every band in southwest Louisiana at some time or another, and he is a two-time winner of the Cajun French Music Association’s Fiddler of the Year award. In 2006, Joel founded Valcour Records, and he has received a Grammy Award and several nominations for releases on the label. Joel is on high demand for his fiddling and guitar playing, and he has played with Linda Ronstadt, T-Bone Burnett, Allison Krauss, Tim O’Brien, Darol Angor, and many more.
Joel’s wife, Kelli Jones-Savoy, grew up in North Carolina playing old-time and bluegrass music. Kelli’s father, Carl Jones, is a well-known and respected mandolin player and songwriter, and Kelli was raised around the Blue Ridge traditions. She moved to Lafayette, Louisiana in 2006 to study dance and learn Cajun fiddling, and she has been living there since. Kelli has become a fixture in the southern Louisiana music scene, performing with the Magnolia Sisters, Double Date, T’Monde, and Feufollet. Her strong singing and repertoire of Cajun and classic country songs have brought her to the center of many stages and festivals.
“In addition to being great performers, these guys both have lots of teaching experience, and we are excited to offer fiddlers in our region a chance to try another regional style of southern American fiddling,” Freed says.
Joel and Kelli will each present a Cajun fiddle workshop, starting at 4:00 p.m. at the Jones House. One workshop will be geared towards beginner fiddlers and one for intermediate-advanced players. The workshop is free for participants of the Jones House music lessons and anyone attending the evening concert. If others are interested in participating in the workshop, please contact Mark Freed at [email protected] or 828.268.6282.
The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 26, in the Mazie Jones Gallery of the Jones House. Tickets for the concert are $20 for adults and $10 for students. The venue can seat 40 people, and due to the limited seating, advanced reservations are recommended. All open seats will be available at the door, which opens at 7:00 p.m. on the night of the concert.
The workshops and performance are funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council.
For more information on the community center or the Indoor Concert Series, including a complete schedule of performances, please visit www.joneshouse.org or call 828.268.6280.