One of the brightest young talents to emerge in Cajun, Creole and Zydeco (Louisiana French) music over the last decade, Cedric Watson is a four-time Grammy-nominated fiddler, singer, accordionist & songwriter with seemingly unlimited potential.
Originally from San Felipe, TX (population 868), Cedric made his first appearance at the age of 19 at the Zydeco Jam at The Big Easy in Houston, TX. Just two years later, he moved to south Louisiana, quickly immersing himself in French music and language. Over the next several years, Cedric performed French music in 17 countries and on 7 full-length albums with various groups, including the Pine Leaf Boys, Corey Ledet, Les Amis Creole with Ed Poullard and J.B. Adams, and with his own group, Bijou Creole.
Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole resurrect the ancient sounds of the French and Spanish contra dance and bourré alongside the spiritual rhythms of the Congo tribes of West Africa, who were sold as slaves in the Carribean and Louisiana by the French and Spanish.
With an apparently bottomless repertoire of songs at his fingertips, Cedric plays everything from forgotten Creole melodies and obscure Dennis McGee reels to more modern Cajun and Zydeco songs, even occasionally throwing in a bluegrass fiddle tune or an old string band number. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he is also a prolific songwriter, writing almost all of his songs on his double row Hohner accordion. Cedric’s songs channel his diverse ancestry (African, French, Native American and Spanish) to create his own brand of sounds.
Cedric’s albums are a tapestry of pulsing rhythms and Creole poetry, and his live performances are unforgettable, all at once progressive and nostalgic.
“We don’t want to forget that one of the biggest contributions to our culture, music and heritage was made by the Native Americans. I find that the old Zydeco rhythms sound like a mix of African and Native American ceremonial rhythms. This mélange very possibly came about through the intermingling of the Native American population and the Maroons.” – Cedric Watson
Danny Knicely comes from a musical family steeped in a mountain music tradition for generations. He first learned music from his grandfather, A.O. Knicely, who played dances and social events in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia beginning in the 1930’s. Danny has used his roots in old-time and bluegrass to explore various types of music from around the world. He has shared his music and collaborated with musicians in over a dozen countries spanning four continents, including U.S. State Department tours in Tunisia, Morocco, Russia and Cabo Verde.
Danny has won many awards for his mandolin, guitar, fiddle and flat-foot dance expertise, including first place in the mandolin contest at the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival. His masterful mandolinistry and original compositions can be heard on his debut recording “Roots and Branches” and his colorful, versatile, acoustic guitar picking can be heard on his “Waltz for Aimee” album.