It seems that in these times when Cajun is the ‘in’ thing, it is difficult to sort through all the imitations, fakes, and the exploitations of Cajun culture. There is, however, one band–The Cajun Tradition– that was around long before Cajun was popular outside of Acadiana. This band, comprised of five individuals playing down-home Cajun music, has upheld the tradition and excitement of Cajun music throughout its career. It is this tradition of excellence that shows in all their performances. V. Fontenot, past President of the Cajun French Music Association, had this to say about the band:

     “The Cajun Tradition Band.......is a highly respected band in our organization. Their musical style, stage presence, and interpretation exemplifies our culture. We highly recommend this group to represent our Cajun Music and culture anytime and anywhere for anyone.”

    The band got its start playing local dance halls, night clubs, and famous Cajun restaurants including Randol’s, Mulate’s, and Belizaire’s and World Famous Fred's Lounge in Mamou. They are, however, much more than just a local-color performance group. The Cajun Tradition has traveled extensively with an engagemaent at the 1984 Louisiana World’s Fair and a performance at the 1987 Annual Cajun Music Festival at Loretta Lynn’s Dude Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. In addition, The Cajun Tradition completed a three-week tour on the cruise ship M/S Olympia that traveled the Baltic Sea from Sweden to Finland. The band was awarded the title 1987 Musicien Du Bal as first place winners in a Bal Du Maison contest held at Acadian Village in Lafayette, Louisiana. They received letters of commendation from the World’s Fair, Sweco Crusie Line, Crestex, and Loretta Lynn’s Ranch. The band also had one 45rpm record released in 1986 and an album released in 1988 entitled: A La Veille Facon. It was this album that received a 1989 Grammy nomination for Most Traditional Folk Music Recording. Performances for the Cajun Grand Ole Opry in Eunice and other engagements have led the National Park Service in New Orleans to say:
  “At each performance, this band did an excellent job of demonstrating and interpreting Cajun music and culture in a very intelligent manner.”

    The band consist of five talented musicians: the Cajun-French Accordionist, the Rhythm Guitarist, the Cajun Fiddler, the Bass Guitarist, and the Drummer. They combine to produce excellence in sound and performance. The group was founded in 1979, and originated in Mamou, Louisiana.

    The Cajun Tradition has established a tradition of excellence in performance of Cajun music as demonstrated through the electric reception given them wherever they play. The group is exciting and dynamic–fun to watch and easy to dance to. Their roots are in the Cajun culture, and it is this heritage that allows them to create the best of what is both traditional and unique in Cajun music.
The Cajun Tradition Band  
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From left: Joe Simon, Jamie Berzas, Madeline Berzas, Glenn Richard and Henry Hample.
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Photo courtesy of Suzanne Duplechain