Feb 19, 2013 5:44 PM by MELISSA CANONE
Three accordion masters - Wayne Toups, Steve Riley and Wilson Savoy - earned a Grammy Award for their self-titled CD, "The Band Courtbouillon," earlier this week.
Savoy is an instructor in the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's Traditional Music Program. So is Corey Ledet, a zydeco musician who was also nominated in the Best Regional Roots Album category.
"We are so proud of both of these guys," said Mark Dewitt, an ethnomusicologist and professor of music who directs the program. "Corey teaches his beginning accordion class with patience and a passion for Cajun and Creole music that is obvious to everybody. Wilson's talents on accordion, fiddle, guitar, and piano make him a great ensemble leader. He has been a creative and tireless advocate for Cajun music on campus and we salute his achievement."
Accomplished musicians, such as Savoy and Ledet, teach courses in the program. Michael Doucet, of the band BeauSoleil, has also offered his expertise to students. "Being able to give students these kinds of opportunities, to learn from people who are the heart of our traditional music, is something our university is uniquely qualified to provide," Dewitt added.
UL Lafayette's bachelor's degree program is one of a handful around the country.
Although Savoy, Toups and Riley have been making music for decades, they had never recorded together before. The acoustic trio first got together for an informal jam session in 2011 - at Savoy's 29th birthday celebration. The vibe was so good, they decided to capture the collaboration on an album. The resulting 14 tracks are a blend of traditional music and new compositions.
Each member of the trio is known for putting a distinctive mark on traditional Cajun music. Toups created the sound he calls "ZydeCajun," a blend of Cajun, zydeco, R&B and Southern Rock.
Riley, also an accordion player, performed for decades with his Mamou Playboys. This was his sixth Grammy nomination
Savoy is also a veteran nominee. As a member of the Pine Leaf Boys, he picked up four consecutive nominations, from 2008 to 2011, in the now-defunct Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album category.
For Savoy, the Grammy win is also a family affair. The album was released by Valcour Records, which focuses on Louisiana roots music. His brother, Joel, founded the label with Phillip LaFarque II and Lucius Fontenot.
Ledet was nominated for a collaborative effort, "Nothin' But the Best." Corey Ledet and His Zydeco Band included Anthony Dopsie, Dwayne Dopsie and Andre Thierry on the CD, a recorded jam session. link to CD: