Doors at 7:30 pm; Cajun/Zydeco Dance Lesson at 8 pm; Performance at 9 pm
Tickets are $15 Day of Show / $12 Advance / $12 Student
Award-winning Louisiana Cajun bandleader Lee Benoit makes his Ashkenaz debut tonight and returns on Tuesday for our regular Cajun/zydeco dance night. Inducted into the Cajun Music Hall of Fame in 2014, Benoit has racked up a mantle full of awards for his fresh approach to the music he grew up on and the Cajun culture he proudly presents. He is part of a younger generation of Cajun musicians who were influenced not so much Joe and Cleoma Falcon or the Balfa Brothers, but by more modern leaders from Wayne Toups to Steve Riley, Beausoleil and rocker John Fogerty. The result is high-spirited dance music sung in French and English that mixes Benoit’s original tunes with traditional favorites.
Based in Rayne, Louisiana, the Lee Benoit Family Band is busy five nights a week at the most popular Cajun venues from Breaux Bridge to New Orleans. In addition to Lee Benoit on accordion and vocals, his group features his wife Valerie Benoit on bass guitar and vocals, drummer-singer Maegen Benoit and fiddler Rosemary Benoit.
At the age of five Lee Benoit was given an electric organ by his grandmother (Cidalise), who raised him. He later took up electric guitar in a rock band, and after leaving the U.S. Marine Corps in 1979, he worked as an ambulance paramedic and on an oil platform, never giving up music. At the age of 29, he was inspired to take up the accordion and Cajun music after hearing accordonist Wayne Toups. Lee fell in love with the instrument and playing Cajun music.
Benoit’s first CD in 1994, “Lee Benoit Avec Amis,” was nominated by the Cajun French Music Association for Best First Album and Song of the Year (his tune dedicated to his wife, Valerie"). Later albums were award-winners, including his most recent release of all-original songs by Benoit, "Pour Les Générations À Venir (For the Generations to Come).”