We’ll be rolling out the 2020 staff throughout the Summer. Like our Facebook Page and Instagram for updates. Expect many of the usual suspects as well as some new blood! See last year’s staff and all previous year’s staff here.
Grandson of well known accordion builder Larry Miller, Blake has been surrounded by Cajun music and culture his entire life. Hailing from the small town of Iota Louisiana, Blake, a fluent french speaker and songwriter, managed to acquire a degree in Francophone studies from The University Of Louisiana at Lafayette and in the mean time founded the popular young Cajun band The Pine Leaf Boys and became a member of the premiere Louisiana roots Band The Red Stick Ramblers. He has also served stints in just about every other cajun/creole band of note including Balfa Toujours, Les Malfecteurs and Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole bringing his strong cultural identity and accomplished musicianship to the world. Blake continues to lead the Grammy-nominated Revelers as he has for the past 8 years singing and playing his own songs on fiddle and accordion. His newest project the Old Fashioned Aces swept the 2019 Cajun French Music Association award nominations.
New Orleans based clarinetist Ben Redwine feels equally comfortable playing Brahms or Ellington. He is devoted to the performance of new classical music and old jazz, as well as to teaching the next generation of performers and teachers.
Ben served as an Assistant Professor at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC from 2012-2016 and was woodwind professor at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana from 2017-2019. In 2014, he retired after 27 years in the US military band system, the majority of time serving as the e-flat clarinet soloist with the US Naval Academy Band in Annapolis, Maryland. He has been a featured soloist at seven International Clarinet Association ClarinetFests in the U.S. and Europe, and has performed extensively on four continents. In 2016, he moved to the New Orleans area to pursue performance opportunities in the birthplace of jazz. Since relocating to Louisiana, he has been a regular performer with the Louisiana Philharmonic and Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestras.
"CURATOR OF DEAD AMERICAN GROOVES" - MM
Nashville based drummer Matt Meyer grew up in Secaucus, New Jersey with a steady diet of jazz, rock & roll, and country western that he learned going to his father's gigs, at a young age. In 2007 Matt graduated with a Bachelors degree in jazz performance from the New England Conservatory. He is Currently touring with Rounder Records recording artist Pokey LaFarge who he has performed with on the Grand Ole Opry and Conan O'Brien. His resume includes, Rachael Price, Caleb Klauder, Anais Mitchell, Miss Tess , White Hinterland, J.P Harris and The Tough Choices, Victoria Bergsman, The Defibulators, and The Cactus Blossoms. 10 years on the road has brought Matt all over the world, Touring nationally, as well as Canada the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Matt Sircely is a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and independent journalist living in the shadow of the Olympic Mountains near Port Townsend, Washington. Sircely is best known for his work as a founding member of Hot Club Sandwich, a Django-inspired ensemble in Seattle, and a leading acoustic jazz band in the US for more than a decade.
Sircely has performed with many of the his major influences, including David Grisman, David Bromberg, Buell Neidlinger and Danny Barnes. His first teacher, Barry Mitterhoff, has invited Sircely to stand in for him at major venues from New York’s City Center to the Kentucky Performing Arts Center. In 2010, Mandolin Magazine placed Sircely on the cover.
Hailing from Memphis, Tennessee, 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 founded Blackpot Camp in 2011.
Emolyn Liden is a Brasstown, North Carolina native, raised on a sheep farm a few miles from the John C. Campbell Folk School, where traditional music, dance and craft were, quite literally, all around. She started clogging, morris and contra/square dancing at a young age. Her dancing resume now boasts: present member of the Green Grass Cloggers of Asheville; past member of the Cane Creek Cloggers of Chapel Hill; percussive dance duo performances with renowned, Scottish fiddler Jamie Laval; member of Cape Breton step dance team Twistycuffs; 1st place flatfooting winner at Hoppin' John Fiddlers Convention and 3rd place winner at Clifftop Appalachian String Band Festival. She has learned from and continues the steps of Ira Bernstein, Robert Dotson, Phil Jamison, Rodney Sutton, Thomas Maupin, and others. She plays old time fiddle and sings in her band The Puddle Jumpers String Band and is building her business specializing in hand knitwear design and instruction as The Roving Knitter (therovingknitter.com/emolynknits.blogspot.com).
Jesse Lége is the real deal. Growing up in a rural, pre-electricity home in Gueydan, Louisiana, Jesse spoke Cajun French and learned music from relatives, neighbors, and the family's much-loved battery-powered radio. Today he is one of the most admired Cajun accordionists and vocalists in the world. He has won numerous CFMA (Cajun French Music Association) awards: Traditional Band of the Year, Accordion Player of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Band of the Year, and Song of the Year, and in 1998 he was inducted into the Cajun Music Hall of Fame.
Originally from a small town in Wisconsin, Amelia was exposed to many forms of traditional music at an early age. She grew up listening to her dad sing, play guitar, piano, and fiddle. Fate took her to Minneapolis for college, where there were regular Cajun dances. She got hooked! Mentored by a few of the stalwart musicians of the Twin City music scene, Amelia started learning French, playing and singing. Two bands resulted: Ana and the Bel-tones and Millie and the Mill City Heavyweights. In 2014, Amelia decided to move to the source of it all - Lafayette, LA. There she has been soaking it all in, ever expanding her love for the culture. In addition to playing cajun music, she plays old-time guitar and loves to dance. When not playing music, she is a wedding florist.