Your World Class Instructors
Singer, songwriter and acclaimed harmonica player Grant Dermody’s devotion to the blues naturally leads him in different directions. While his last album, Digging in John’s Backyard, found him collaborating with guitarist Frank Fotusky on a set of songs that paid tribute to John Jackson, a foremost practitioner and proponent of Piedmont blues, his upcoming effort, Behind the Sun, finds him returning to electric blues with a full band and the inspiration and influence of Louisiana, the place where it was recorded. The title itself references a song by Muddy Waters while also capturing the sentiment and sincerity that shine through in each of its 15 tracks. Read more…
Fiddle and Diatonic Accordion
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. Read more…
Rich Del Grosso
Rich DelGrosso. Teaching Bio DelGrosso has been mentoring students in workshops and online lessons for the past fifty years. His primary passion has been the mandolin music of the African-American, from the beginning of the 20th century to the present… a mix of string band and jug band Blues and ragtime…country and urban. His Mandolin Blues: From Memphis to Maxwell Street (Hal Leonard Pub.) explores the role of the mandolin in the blues, with lessons, info and pictures of some of key players , with emphasis on his mentors and influences: Howard “Louie Bluie” Armstrong, James “Yank” Rachell and Johnny Young. DelGrosso received a Keeping the Blues Alive award (Blues Foundation) for his work coordinating and teaching at the Augusta Heritage Arts Workshop: “Bluesweek’, in Elkins WVA. This program was a model for similar workshops across the country and in the UK. He has taught at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, the Country Blues Workshop in Port Townsend, WA, and joined the staff of world-renowned mandolinists at the Mandolin Symposium in Santa Cruz, CA. and L’Accademia Internazionale Italiana di Mandolino in Italy. Read more…
Joe is arguably the worlds’ foremost authority on nearly all aspects of the diatonic harmonica, and he is one of its most respected players and teachers. He IS the world’s most respected diatonic harp technician and customizer with his work directly affecting countless players and all harmonica manufacturers. His client list includes most of the players from the who’s who list of the harmonica elite. His harps are in the hands of notables from blues, country, rock, film, and even a former President. Joe has taught and performed on 5 continents. He was awarded the “Harmonica Player of the Year in 2001 by the SPAH organization. Joe performed at the 2006 Country Music Hall of Fame, Medallion Ceremony for the induction of DeFord Bailey. Documentaries that featured Mr. Filisko include: “Harmonica Summit,” Imagination is Limitless,” “In the Reeds,” “Tin Sandwich” and “Pocketful of Soul.” Described as the Johnny Appleseed of the harmonica, Joe has had a tremendous influence on the culture of the harmonica world over the last 25 years. Read more…
Chris Stafford is a musician and producer/recording engineer based in Lafayette, LA. He is a four time grammy nominee, playing on albums with Feufollet, Cedric Watson et Bijou Creole, and Racines. As a session musician he has contributed to recording sessions with Dr. John and to the score of the to the film Baraboo by long time David Lynch collaborator, Mary Sweeney. Stafford has engineered and many albums by a variety local artists and operates a recording studio in Lafayette, La. He is a founding member of the progressive Cajun band Feufollet with whom he has toured around the United States, France, Canada, Mexico, and England.
Jerry is, without doubt, the finest living Cajun, and Cajun style harmonica player. His father was an accordion player of high regard, being selected to the Cajun Music Hall of Fame after his passing. Jerry’s mom bought him a harmonica when he was five and he taught himself to make it sound like an accordion. His technique, tone, and feel for the music he grew up with, are unparalleled. Jerry was recently elected to the Cajun Music Hall of Fame, and given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica, (SPAH) Jerry is held in the highest esteem by everyone who knows harmonica.
Piano and Diatonic Accordions
Corey Ledet was born and raised in Houston, Texas, but spent his summers with family in small-town Parks, Louisiana. The Creole culture has its roots in Louisiana, but spread across the country, including neighboring Texas. Because of this, he was able to be immersed at all times in the Creole culture he loved so much. The summers in the family home molded and shaped Corey’s world in a profound way. He learned everything he could so that he could incorporate the culture in all areas of his life – the traditions, the food, and most importantly, the music. READ MORE
For the last 33 years, Chris Miller has been performer and music educator from Lake Charles, LA. Chris is also a song writer, singer, and a multi-instrumentalist who plays accordion, piano, fiddle, and harmonica along with other various instruments. Chris has featured some Cajun style harmonica playing on his “Bayou Roots” album and was inspired by the Cajun style harmonica playing of Isom Fonetenot, Raul LeBlanc and Jerry Devillier. In 1999 Chris helped to form Louisiana’s Kingfish, which in 2000 released the CD Life in a One-Horse Town and the band played throughout the country and the 2001 Montreal Jazz festival. Chris has played throughout the Eastern and Midwestern U.S. and France with Hadley Castille and at the Texas Folklife Festival in San Antonio with Rodney LeJeune and the Texas Cajun Playboys. His two CD recording projects have won awards from the Cajun French Music “Song of the Year,”“Recording of the Year,” “People’s Choice,” and “Band of the Year,” and “Accordionist of the Year.”
Gospel Choir Leader
Born and raised on the Northside of Lafayette, Teka Briscoe started singing in the church choir at age of seven. Over the years, her love of all musical genres and vocal performance has provided her with opportunities to work with artists throughout the country and abroad. Teka’s many accomplishments include co-writing the song, “Time Ain’t Due” of of Grant Dermody’s album, Beyond the Sun She been the opening act for many artists including Gospel recording artist ,Tamela Mann and world- renown jazz musician Matthew Whitaker. She’s been the featured vocalist for international artists, like Latvia’s native son, Louis Fontaine & the Starlight Searchers and ,Port Vincent of Copenhagen. She’s performed with American Idol Star Joshua Ledet, Roddie Romero & the Hub City Allstars and Louisiana’s own Blue Monday Allstars. Her theater accolades include being a Muse in Little Shop of Horrors. Sara Vaughn in the American Songbook, and Nell Carter in Ain’t Misbehavin and the Reprisal, Still Ain’t Misbehavin. Teka Briscoe is a mother of three incredibly gifted children, a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and is employed by Lafayette Consolidated Government as a Development Planner. She’s a member of Destiny of Faith Christian Center Church’s praise team and the Director of Operations for Love of People, a non-profit foundation.