Tag Archives: BeauSoleil

Folk Alliance International Reveals Recipients and Inductees of the 2020 International Folk Music Awards

BeauSoleil, winner of the Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement Awards (Living)

Folk Alliance International (FAI) has announced the award recipients and inductees for the International Folk Music Awards (IFMAs). The awards will be presented on Wednesday, January 22, 2020, on the opening night of FAI’s 32nd annual conference taking place in New Orleans, Louisiana. The IFMAs recognize folk music legends, unsung heroes, and rising talent.

Mahalia Jackson, winner of the Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement Award (Legacy)
Preservation Hall , winner of the Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement Awards (Business/Academic)

The Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement Awards, named after FAI’s co-founder and determined by membership vote, are presented to honor the cultural impact of legendary folk music figures and organizations. The 2020 recipients are celebrated cajun band BeauSoleil (Living), the “Queen of Gospel” Mahalia Jackson (Legacy), and the iconic Preservation Hall (Business/Academic).

Ani DiFranco – Photo by GMDThree

Ani DiFranco will receive The People’s Voice Award, presented annually to an individual who unashamed embraces social and political commentary in their creative work and public career.

The Pickathon festival, based in Portland, Oregon, will receive The Clearwater Award, presented annually to a festival that prioritizes environmental stewardship and demonstrates public leadership in sustainable event production.

Spirit of Folk Awards, honoring those involved in the promotion and preservation of folk music through creative work, community building, and leadership, will be presented to Ake Lundstrom (Nordic Folk Alliance), folklorist/writer Ben Sandmel, Ellen Bello (Native American Music Awards), refugee-artist Ephraim Bugumba, Jan Ramsey (OffBeat Magazine),  and Laura Hassler (Musicians Without Borders).

This year’s inductees into FAI’s Folk DJ Hall of Fame include Holger Petersen (CBC, CKUA – Edmonton, Canada), Mary Katherine Aldin (past KPFK –  Los Angeles, USA), and Nick Spitzer (PRX – New Orleans, USA).

Following a compilation of year-end charts, FAI members will vote to determine the 2019 Album, Song, and Artist of the Year, which are announced and presented during the IFMAs.

More about Folk Alliance International


Artist Profiles: Jimmy Breaux

Artist Profiles: Jimmy Breaux

Louisiana musician Jimmy Breaux was the longtime accordionist in celebrated Cajun band BeauSoleil. He is in the fourth generation of his family to play Cajun music.

Jimmy Breaux was born in 1967 and grew up in Louisiana. In 1988 at the age of 2 Breaux joined Michael Doucet’s pioneering young Cajun band BeauSoleil not only helping to bring pride to their Cajun heritage but also popularizing their dance music rooted in tradition by playing it around the world over the next 25 years.

In addition to being featured on BeauSoleil recordings Breaux has released solo albums that feature not only Doucet and other bandmates but other leaders of contemporary Louisiana Cajun music such as Steve Riley.

With a combination of Cajun classics and original songs Breaux is carrying on and extending his family tradition.

Among his musical relatives are his father Preston Breaux, grandfather Amé Breaux, brother Pat Breaux, great-grandfather Auguste Breaux and great-aunt Cleoma Breaux. The latter was married to Joe Falcon, one of the great Cajun musicians of the 1930s.


Un ‘Tit Peu Plus Cajun (La Louisianne, 1991)

Le Chemin Que T’As Pris (La Louisianne, 2000)


Artist Profiles: BeauSoleil


BeauSoleil has secured their position as America’s most popular Cajun group. BeauSoleil has preserved the rich Cajun musical traditions of Louisiana, while adding elements of zydeco, New Orleans jazz, Tex-Mex, country, blues and more.

BeauSoleil translates as “beautiful sunshine.” It’s also the name of an 18th century Acadian rebel leader, Beausoleil Broussard, after whom Michael Doucet, founder, fiddler and passionate vocalist for the band, named the group.

Michael Doucet dedicated much of his life to the study of the origins of Cajun music. He studied with grand old masters such as Denis McGee and Canray Fontenot, and searched out early 78 rpm recordings and unaccompanied ballad singers. At the same time, he was constantly aware of the other musical forms around him – jazz, country, R&B and rock and roll. As Doucet once explained early in his career, “If I was going to play Cajun music, I wanted to play it right. And if I was going to change Cajun music, I have to be sure of the direction.”

BeauSoleil has numerous recording projects to its credit, including award-winning movie soundtracks. They garnered six Grammy nominations before winning Grammy gold in 1997 for Best Traditional Folk Album.

Recorded live in concert at The Barns Of Wolf Trap near Washington, D.C., in March 2, Looking Back Tomorrow: Beausoleil Live! marked BeauSoleil’s return to the first venue to serve their sizzling musical gumbo to audiences beyond Louisiana’s borders. When BeauSoleil took center stage at the National Folk Festival in 1976, an infectious musical genre, rooted firmly in the culture of a long oppressed people, boogied into the spotlight.

“When I was growing up, the word Cajun was never used,” says founder/fiddler/lead vocalist/chief songwriter Michael Doucet in the albums’s liner notes, penned by author and journalist Michael Tisserand (Gambit Weekly). “People finally started to become a little more proud of their culture. Even if you weren’t as educated as a Philadelphia lawyer, you had something to offer, to give-a way of life.”

On Looking Back Tomorrow: Beausoleil Live! BeauSoleil showcases their arrangements on traditional songs (“J’ai Ete au Bal,” “Travailler C’est Trop Dur,” “Grand Mamou”); debuts four new Doucet-penned originals (“Amede,” “Varise,” “Quoi ‘y a Toi,” and “Ma Douce Amie”); salutes pioneers Dennis McGee (“Pa Janvier”) as well as Clarence Garlow and Eddie Shuler (“Bon Temps Rouler”), and infuses Cajun flavor into rock ‘n’ roll-a BeauSoleil trademark (“It’s You I Love,” written by Dave Bartholomew and “Fats” Domino).

BeauSoleil-Doucet, along with his brother David (vocals/guitar), Jimmy Breaux (accordians), Al Tharp (bass/fiddle), Tommy Alesi (drums), and Billy Ware (percussion)-has released six albums on Rhino, garnered eight Grammy nominations over the course of their career, and won the Grammy for Best Traditional Folk album in 1998 for Rhino’s L’Amour ou La Folie.

In September of 2004, Vanguard Records released Gitane Cajun, the group’s first studio album since 1999.


The Spirit of Cajun Music (Swallow Records, 1976)

Louisiana Cajun Music (Swallow Records, 1984)

Parlez Nous Au Boire (Arhoolie Records, 1984)

Zydeco Gris Gris (Swallow Records, 1985)

Allons A Lafayette (Arhoolie Records, 1986)

Bayou Boogie (Rounder Records, 1986)

Hot Chili Mama (Arhoolie Records, 1988)

Cajun Experience (Swallow Records, 1988)

Bayou Cadillac (Rounder Records, 1989)

Live! From The Left Coast (Rounder Records, 1989)

Cajun Jam Session (Arhoolie Records, 1989)

Deja Vu (Swallow Records, 1990)

J’Ai Ete Au Bal [Soundtrack] (Arhoolie Records, 1990)

Cajun Conja (Rhino Records, 1991)

Rainbow Sign (Rounder Records, 1992)

Bayou Deluxe – The Best Of Michael Doucet & Beausoleil (Rhino Records, 1993)

La Danse de la Vie (Rhino Records, 1993)

L’Echo (Rhino Records, 1994)

Vintage Beausoleil: live (Music of the World, 1995)

Arc de Triomphe Two-Step (Hemisphere / Metro Blue, 1997)

The Best of BeauSoleil (Arhoolie Records, 1997)

L’Amour Ou La Folie (Rhino Records, 1997)

Cajunization (Rhino Records, 1999)

Best Of The Crawfish Years (Rounder Records, 2001)

Looking Back Tomorrow (Rhino Records, 21)

Encore, Encore!! The Best of BeauSoleil, 1991-2100 (Rhino Records, 2003)

Gitane Cajun (Vanguard Records, 2004)

Live in Louisiana (Way Down in Louisiana, 2006)

Live At The 28 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival BeauSoleil & Michael Doucet (MunckMix, 2008)

Alligator Purse (Yep Roc, 2009)

From Bamako to Carencro (Compass, 2013)