Two days ago, we visited Vermillion Ville and watched part of a three hour Cajun Jam. The way it works is the old masters have a musical jam session with young people wanting to learn. The woman in turquoise is leading this particular song. She has a band of her own. And the students are watching her every move very carefully.
And then the student gets to show what he or she can do. There is a lot of praise for these young kids who come to learn and hope to hold their own with the masters who learned at their daddies knees in a similar fashion. Realize, there is no sheet music to follow. The girl on the left plays guitar and accordion and sings. She has a lovely voice.
This young man, I believe his name is Jacob, was pointed out as the best young fiddle player of the novices. He has attended jam sessions for quite some time, apparently. The established musicians come to help students EVERY Saturday. Some kids travel long distances to attend these sessions because they are invaluable for young musicians to save this Cajun tradition.
This young man, 21 years old, waited his turn to sit in.
When he got his chance, he sang and played very well. It amazes me that there are five accordions, four guitars and nine fiddlers all playing the same song at the same time with no leader or sheet music.
When August Broussard plays and sings, he has a strong voice, and the students listen and try to follow and sometimes watch carefully every move he makes.
When this young fiddle player played his solo, he appointed himself very well. It’s tough to play the fiddle and then sing with it too.
Then, red-faced and embarrassed, he pulled his hat over his head. The audience is there for him and they appreciate how hard it is to be on the “hot seat”. And he will someday be a great musician.
And this second youngest jammer, I believe his name was Dean Chase. He chose an Appalachian song that no one was familiar with. He played several phrases before they “caught it” and played with him. His ear and face were bright red, but he held his place with the jammers. It is hard to do. Commendable.
I loved the jam and wish I lived close enough to watch it often. I caught some video and you can listen to it at the links below: