January 22, 2010
Jesse Lege is one of the most admired Cajun accordionists and vocalists from Southwest Louisiana. Beginning with Cajun accordion at age 16, Jesse has been playing traditional Cajun music for over 35 years with a variety of bands in various Louisiana dancehalls.
His ensemble includes Evie Schneider on five-string bass; Darren Wallace on fiddle, electric guitar; Jesse himself on accordion, guitar, vocals; and Erica Weiss on guitar, vocals.
Lege has garnered numerous Cajun French Music Association awards, known as the “Cajun Grammys”. These include Traditional Band of the Year, Accordion Player of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Band of the Year, and for “Memoires Dans Mon Coeur”, he won Song of the Year. He has recorded three CDs with the Lake Charles Ramblers, the Southern Ramblers, and the album Live at the Isleton Crawdad Festival, in California with master Creole fiddler Ed Poullard. Jesse has played many Cajun events in Louisiana and elsewhere in the U.S. and world, including Festivals Acadiens, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and the prestigious Chicago Folk Festival, major festivals in CA and FL, and in England and Canada.
In 1998 Jesse was inducted into the Cajun Music Hall of Fame.
“Jessie sings in the traditional high pitched, emotional style reminiscent of the late Iry LeJeune… and plays the accordion with equal power and conviction…” –Arhoolie Records
“Lege’s soaring voice resonates with… piercing, yet beautiful heartache… [he] possesses one of the truly great voices in contemporary Cajun music. Listeners who do not experience frissons hearing him sing… had better check their pulse.” –LSUE Office of Public Relations
“His penetrating style and emotion-laden lyrics can make veteran festival producers such as this one weep backstage.” –Barry Ancelet, MC of the Liberty Theatre shows, producer of Festivals Acadiens, and Professor of French at USL.
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