Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Augusta Cajun/Creole & Early Country Concert & Dance

July 9, 2015 @ 7:30 pm - 11:55 pm


Join us for concerts each Tuesday and Thursday evening. Performances by master musicians, vocalists, and dancers who are instructors at Augusta for the summer sessions.

General admission tickets: $12. Student tickets: $6, available with student ID at the Box Office only on the night of the concert. Concert ticket includes admission to the dance in the open-air Augusta pavilion following the concert.

Pass includes admission to the dances in the open-air Augusta pavilion following the concerts, and the Mountain Stage Festival Concert on Saturday, August. Augusta Summer Season Pass available here. Face price $140.Pass price $82 – a 40% discount!

Cajun/Creole week instructors:

Lynne Terr
has used her skills as a music events planner to bring together memorable gatherings of exemplary Cajun musicians to Augusta for well over a decade.

Sheryl Cormier
is sometimes referred to as “La Reine Cadjine” (The Cajun Queen) and was the first Cajun female artist to record playing the accordion. In 2002 she became a “Living Legend” at the Acadian Museum in Erath, Louisiana. In 2009 she was inducted into the Cajun French Music Association Hall of Fame and was honored by the Cajun Culture Association in recognition of a lifetime of playing Cajun music. In 2010 she was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

Jason Frey
Jason Frey’s accordion playing takes listeners back to the old style of front porch music. One of Dewey Balfa’s favorite accordion players, Jason played many festivals with him. In 2000 his band, Lagniappe, released a CD, à la vieille manière, which received the Cajun French Music Association’s Le Cajun Award as Best First Recording of the Year and Jason was nominated for the Best Accordionist of the Year. In 2011 Jason and Courtney Granger recorded a CD on which they performed both old favorites and newer songs that they wrote themselves. Since then Jason has teamed up with Al Berard, Charlie Terr and Joel Savoy for another CD of standards and originals.

Paul Daigle
is one of Acadiana’s most talented accordionists. He is a founding member of Cajun Gold, and has performed with renowned Cajun musicians including Shirley Bergeron, D.L. Menard and Ken Smith. Most recently Paul has had what he considers the grandest opportunity of all, the recurring of two CDs with his children, one of which won CD of the year from the Cajun French Music Association.

Jimmy Breaux
Jimmy Breaux is acknowledged to be one of the best Cajun accordionists of the modern era. The accordion player for the Grammy Award-winning group Beausoleil for over 25 years, he is in the fourth generation of his family to play Cajun music. His great-grandfather was Auguste Breaux, and his great aunt, Cléoma Falcon Breaux, sang and played on the first Cajun recording, “Allons à Lafayette.” His grandfather, Amédée Breaux, made the first recording of “Jolie Blonde.”

Eric Frey
The son of a bluegrass bass player, Eric Frey grew up going from jam to jam and festival to festival around his hometown of Clay, Alabama. It was only natural for Eric to play bass and sing which led the Red Stick Ramblers to recruit him to Louisiana in 2003. He is now a member of The Revelers. He is not only a versatile bassist (both upright and electric), but also a brilliant lead and part singer. He is becoming well known for his record producing as well as his witty and meaningful songwriting. He also plays old-time banjo and loves to research old songs.

Michelle Kaminsky
(Fiddle from Scratch)
Michelle Kaminsky has been an Augusta regular since 1980, first as a student and then as an instructor, giving her the opportunity to learn from many Cajun and Creole musicians, including Dewey Balfa, Canray Fontenot, Danny and Ed Poullard, Mitch Reed, Al Berard, and many others. Her own early background in classical music combined with a flexible teaching style helps students learn how to produce a good sound. Michelle especially enjoys working with novices, inspiring them to move beyond ‘scratch’! Her high-energy fiddling has powered Magnolia since 1991, a band that is well known in the northeast as the mainstay of the Cajun dance scene.

Blake Miller
Grandson of well-known accordion builder Larry Miller and hailing from the small town of Iota, Louisiana, Blake Miller has been surrounded by Cajun music and culture his entire life. A fluent French speaker and songwriter, Blake acquired a degree in Francophone studies from The University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He was a founding member of the popular young Cajun band The Pine Leaf Boys, became a member of the premiere Louisiana roots band The Red Stick Ramblers and now plays accordion and fiddle with The Revelers. He has also served stints in just about every other Cajun/Creole band of note including Balfa Toujours, Les Malfecteurs and Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole.

Joel Savoy
The son of Cajun music royalty Marc and Ann Savoy, Joel grew up in the middle of a renaissance for the Cajun culture of southwest Louisiana. Well versed in music and a quick learner, he can be found playing with just about every band in SWLA at some time or other, though most often he’s seen with his brother Wilson and their parents in the Savoy Family Band or with the legendary Cajun powerhouse Jesse Lége. In 2006 Joel founded Valcour Records which has since developed into what many believe to be the number one music source for what’s happening in Acadiana today, garnering a Grammy in 2012 as well as 9 Grammy nominations to date.

Courtney Granger
was born in Eunice, Louisiana. Master fiddler and extraordinarily strong singer, Courtney hails from the Balfa family lineage, which is evident in his powerful vocals and heavily Balfa-influenced fiddling. Courtney produced his own solo CD in the mid-90s, which brought him praise from the Cajun music scene, landing him several CFMA awards. In 1999, Courtney joined Balfa Toujours on bass and fiddle, playing alongside the great Kevin Wimmer. Courtney’s endless repertoire of both Cajun and classic country tunes, as well his impeccable thoughtful fiddling and soulful singing, has made him one of the most sought-after Cajun fiddlers in the world, playing with legends Jason Frey, Dirk Powell, and Horace Trahan. Courtney has been a member of The Pine Leaf Boys since 2008.

Chris Segura
is one of the founding members of the band Feufollet and has also been with Randy Vidrine’s Lafayette Rhythm Devils since 2002. By day, Chris is the archivist at the Archives of Cajun and Creole Folklore – A division of the Center for Louisiana Studies. The archive holds some 20,000 hours of audio and video material as well as countless documents and photographs. There Chris heads a massive digitization effort to help preserve the quickly degrading analog material. His lifelong obsession with the violin led to a violin-making apprenticeship with Bonsoir, Catin’s Anya Burgess from 2008-2010. When not at work or gigging, he’s usually chipping away at a fiddle in his workshop.

Chas Justus
Hailing from Memphis, Tennessee, Chas Justus was born to play the guitar. He plays with a confidence and diversity that belies his young age being able to seamlessly switch from any of the numerous blues styles he’s mastered to country jazz to the Southwest Louisiana guitar styles that he has fallen in love with. Not only has his guitar playing been featured on numerous albums to come out of the Louisiana music scene but also his songs have been on quite a few albums, including Linda Ronstadt and Ann Savoy’s Grammy Nominated Adieu False Heart. His individualistic guitar playing, singing, and songwriting mark Chas Justus as one of the next Southern troubadours with a new song that sounds refreshingly old. He currently tours with The Revelers.

David Greely
spent 23 years playing and singing traditional Cajun music in Louisiana’s rural dance halls as well as concert halls worldwide with Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys. He now performs worldwide as a solo acoustic performer and in small acoustic groups. In intensively studying the rare home music of Dennis McGee, Varise Conner and many other accomplished old masters, he is actively exploring the full history of Cajun and Creole fiddle and vocals. His classes include instruction in all of these styles. He has received the Louisiana Artist Fellowship Award in Folklife, been nominated for four Grammy awards and teaches at universities, music camps and workshops.

Ann Savoy
Four time Grammy nominee Ann Savoy has been performing and recording Cajun music the world over for four decades. Her bands are Savoy Doucet Cajun Band, Savoy Family Cajun Band, The Magnolia Sisters, and Ann Savoy and Her Sleepless Knights. She has recorded twenty CDs on the Vanguard, Rounder, Arhoolie, and Memphis International labels. Her book, Cajun Music: A Reflection of a People received the Botkin Book Award and is considered to be “The Cajun Bible”. At present she is working on volumes two and three of this history of Cajun music series. She continues to perform, produce, travel, write, do photography, and anything else this great world has to offer!

Russell Cormier
is the featured vocalist and manager of Sheryl Cormier & the Cajun Sounds.

Glenn Fields
Baton Rouge native Glenn Fields is the quintessential Louisiana drummer. He has also emerged as a fine singer, causing comparisons to be drawn to the late Levon Helm as well as Louisiana drummer/vocalists Warren Storm and Lil’ Bob. A capable bandleader and founder of The Red Stick Ramblers, Glenn is also the first call for other musicians looking for the most unshakable groove, versatility, and peerless taste of anyone whoever hit the skins. It’s no wonder that his skills have taken him all over the world. Glenn is also responsible for the creation of The Blackpot Festival, an event representing Louisiana’s cultural renaissance and vitality that he so embodies.

Jesse Lege
is an inductee to the Cajun Music Hall of Fame and has been playing traditional Cajun accordion music and singing Cajun French songs for more than 30 years.

Charlie Terr
has played with some of the masters of Cajun and Creole music including The Balfa Brothers, Nathan Abshire, Marc Savoy, The Sundown Playboys, D. L. Menard, Lionel LeLeux, and Bois Sec Ardoin. Charlie plays accordion with The Chicago Cajun Aces.


Early Country week instructors:

Ginny Hawker
Emmylou Harris said Ginny Hawker is “real as dirt – she sings from the heart” when she chose Ginny’s CD, Letters From My Father, as one the four CDs she was listening to in Oprah magazine. That’s the only way Ginny knows how to sing – the way she learned to sing from her father, Ben Hawker. She and her dad taught at Augusta Vocal Week for 10 years and traveled to The Smithsonian, Vancouver and Chicago to perform at festivals and do workshops. Whenever Ginny sings, she makes the song sound like a classic you had forgotten about, while at the same time, making it sound so effortless that anyone could do the same. That’s what makes her a good teacher. Ginny will touch your heart and draw you into her world with her singing. She has taught at music camps for 25 years, as well as intensive workshops in her home for the past 9 years. Ginny has recorded with Kay Justice and with her husband, Tracy Schwarz. She has 2 solo CD’s on the Rounder Label. Ginny and Tracy teach 2-day intensive singing workshops in their home in Tanner, WV when they are not on the road. Ginny has been the coordinator of Early Country Music Week since it began in 2009.

Rob McNurlin
was raised in Eastern Kentucky where he began studying traditional music, learning hundreds of folk, hillbilly-blues and gospel tunes. Rob has released six CDs, including Cowboy Boot Heel, recorded at Johnny Cash’s Cabin Studio and produced by his Cash’s son John Carter Cash, and a duet with guest Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. Lonesome Valley Again reached #26 on the FAR charts and #55 on the Americana chart, remaining in the top 100 over two months. Sacred Numbers is a collection of gospel songs. McNurlin’s latest CD, Rhinestoned, an original, traditional, country music recording, features legendary steel guitarist Kayton Roberts. In 2012 Rob was the executive producer on the Kayton Roberts CD Valley of the Roses. He also contributed vocals and guitar along with Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives, Chris Scruggs and Ranger Doug Green. McNurlin has toured North America, England and Australia solo and with the Beatnik Cowboys and traveled with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and Hot Tuna. His songs have been covered by Ronnie Elliot, among others, and used in two award-winning documentaries.

Kayton Roberts
is originally from Ona, Florida. After meeting Chubby Wise–Hank Snow’s fiddler at the time–at a barbershop in northern Florida, Kayton left his job in the appliance department at Sears to play rhythm guitar with Snow. He moved to Nashville in 1967 and the next year he began playing the steel in Hank’s band, where he stayed for the next 30 years. During this time, Kayton toured across the country and around the world with Hank Snow’s Rainbow Ranch Boys and played on the Grand Ole Opry countless times. Kayton is a one-of-a-kind steel guitarist, respected by the Nashville music community. After Hank Snow passed away in 1999, Kayton continued to perform and also worked as a session musician, recording albums with Marty Stuart, Riders in the Sky, Aaron Tippin, Randy Travis, Allison Kraus, George Jones, Hank Williams III, John Fogerty and many others. On a recent trip to the studio, Kayton played steel on the title track of the Marty Stuart’s Ghost Train CD. On September 1, 2012, Kayton was inducted into the International Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in St. Louis.

Jesse Wells
grew up in the hills of Eastern Kentucky surrounded by a family of traditional musicians eight generations deep. He has been the Music Archivist and an Instructor of Traditional Music at Morehead State University’s Kentucky Center for Traditional Music since the summer of 2001. He is also the host of “Sounds of Our Heritage” on Morehead State Public Radio (www.msuradio.com). Wells was honored as a Master Kentucky Old-Time Fiddle and Banjo by the Kentucky Arts Council and the NEA in 2009. Jesse performs regularly with Kentucky Wild Horse and the award-winning Clack Mountain String Band. Wells has also toured throughout North America, the United Kingdom, China and Australia and has performed with Town Mountain, Don and Rigsby & Midnight Call, Jim Lauderdale, Chris Stapleton, the Dirk Powell Band, Dave Evans and Riverbend, Ralph Stanley and many others. He has been invited to perform and teach workshops at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, the Swannanoa Gathering and the Old Town School of Folk. He is a staff member of the Cowan Creek Mountain Music School, Cowan, KY.

Bill Kirchen
Guitarist, singer and songwriter Bill Kirchen first gained national recognition as a founding member of Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen. His trademark guitar lick drove their “Hot Rod Lincoln” cut into the Top Ten in 1972. He has released ten CDs on his own, and recorded and/or played guitar live with a who’s who of Americana and roots Rock ‘N’ Roll, among them Gene Vincent, Link Wray, Bo Diddley, Hazel Dickens, Doug Sahm, Hoyt Axton, Emmylou Harris, Maria Muldaur, Dan Hicks, Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello. Rolling Stone, June 2013 – “Near-legendary guitarist Bill Kirchen…displays a zest in his playing that is unmistakable and, all these years later, near – impossible to duplicate. A musical treasure, a fantastic player, and in these roots-conscious times, very much a pioneer, Bill Kirchen is one of our best.”

Jesse Milnes
grew up in the world of West Virginia old-time music (his father is fiddler and folklorist Gerry Milnes). Though he is widely known as a fiddle player, Jesse’s first instrument was a guitar and he has developed a personal style of finger-picking, drawing on influences from blues to bluegrass to country. He has played fiddle and guitar with many country, old-time and bluegrass bands over the years, including the Sweetback Sisters, a country band for which he was also a main songwriter. Jesse has won many local and regional fiddle contests, including the WV State Folk Festival in Glenville, WV and the Ed Haley Fiddle Contest in Ashland, KY. Jesse and his wife, Emily Miller, recently toured in Australia and California and recorded their first album as a duo. They live in Valley Bend, WV.

John Lilly
is a multi–talented acoustic musician from Charleston, West Virginia. He has been editor of Goldenseal magazine, West Virginia’s outstanding traditional culture icon for over 18 years. In 2005, John won the national Ghost Writers in the Sky songwriting contest, sponsored by HankFest. The Durham, NC Independent said of John’s singing, “If Hank Williams had a sunny disposition, he’d be John Lilly.” John played traditional string band music for many years with Ralph Blizzard and the New Southern Ramblers. Steeped in this early country tradition, John has been writing his own songs – almost every day – for the past 5 years. His latest CDs, Last Chance to Dance and Cold Comfort have been said to successfully bridge the gap between tradition and innovation.

Thomas Bryan Eaton
is the most fun, patient, organized yet relaxed teacher you will ever come across. He teaches all year round in the New York City area where he is also in demand as a studio musician. He writes and performs his own songs in solo performances and with his band, Hobson’s Choice. He also spends a lot of time touring the country with Miss Tess & the Talkbacks, who are embarking on their first European tour this May. You may have heard the old saying that someone is “eat up with music”? Well, that is Thomas. He can stay up all night playing steel guitar, slide guitar, and singing whatever the jam or performance calls for. He knows all the old classic country songs and sings them with feeling that belies his young years. A young student wrote last year, “This man is a phenomenal musician, teacher, and human. He made the hardest instrument there seem not so daunting.” Believe it.

Karen Collins
grew up in the mountains of Southwest Virginia in a coal mining community. She spent a lot of time listening to country music on the radio and singing in the local Baptist Church. The echoes of those early country sounds stand out in her singing and in her songwriting today. Karen is lead singer with the honky-tonk band, Backroads Band and with the Cajun/Zydeco band, Squeeze Bayou. She also sings with the acoustic country quartet, The Blue Moon Cowgirls, plays solo shows and teaches harmony singing workshops in the Washington, DC/Baltimore area. Karen has won Wammies (Washington Area Music Awards) for “Country Vocalist” and also “Country Duo/Group” for her band, “Karen Collins & The Backroads Band”.

Courtney Granger
is an old soul at a young age, and he’s Cajun through and through with all the depth of emotion and experience that one life can hold so young. He is a master fiddler and singer of his native Cajun music, but he can also sing a country song that will burn your heart and have you crying for more. Students have written; “He broke my heart every day and I loved it.” “His class worked – here is a set of songs and how to sing them. It worked because he truly listened to his students and was very generous.” “Courtney has wonderful insight into the music – and can articulate those thoughts.” Whenever Courtney sings at a country or Cajun dance, dancers stop and get lost in his deep commitment to the music, so deep that he sweeps the listener right up into it with him. You feel like, “he’s singing my life.” Courtney is currently recording a much anticipated solo cd – his first in 15 years.

Emily Miller
The first song Emily Miller remembers learning is the Louvin Brothers’ hit, “When I Stop Dreaming,” around age 8, which she sang as a duet with her older brother Ethan. After performing with many different groups in her teenage years (most notably Northern Harmony, with whom she toured all over the US and Europe), Emily formed the honky-tonk country band The Sweetback Sisters in 2006 with fellow singer Zara Bode. They have recorded three full-length records and have performed their renegade retro style of country music in barrooms, festival stages and concert halls around the world, including appeareances on A Prairie Home Companion and Mountain Stage. Emily and her husband Jesse Milnes also perform as a duo, singing country and old-time music in close harmony. Emily is musical director for the Davis & Elkins College Appalachian Ensemble’s string band in Elkins, WV, which recruits talented old-time instrumentalists and percussive dancers from around the country for a high-level student performance ensemble. She and Jesse make their home in Valley Bend, WV

Scott Phelps
As a past recipient of an Augusta Scholarship, Scott understands the power of a week spent studying at Augusta. After purchasing his first guitar at 21 years old, Scott has spent countless hours studying all forms of American roots music. He is particularly passionate about early country, early rock and roll, and rock-a-billy music. He holds a graduate degree in Archival Studies from East Tennessee State University where he participated in the internationally recognized Bluegrass, Old-Time, and country Music program. During this time he studied bluegrass guitar, old-time banjo, and honk-tonk electric guitar. In addition to being a musician, Scott spent several years as a performing member of the Green Grass Cloggers. He had the opportunity to dance at music festivals such as Merlefest and LEAF, as well as perform with the Carolina Chocolate Drops on several occasions. When not traveling and playing music, you can currently find Scott living in St. Louis, MO and working for the Boy Scouts of America.

Tracy Schwarz
played fiddle, guitar, banjo, and accordion and sang lead and harmony for 50 years with The New Lost City Ramblers, the seminal band responsible for introducing many urban audiences to rural southern music in the ’60s and ’70s. He has recorded more than 30 albums with folks like Mike Seeger, Hazel Dickens and Dewey Balfa. Bands that he played in have been nominated for Grammys three times. He currently performs and teaches workshops at music camps around the country with his wife, Ginny Hawker. Although—and because—he did not “grow up in the culture” of the music he represents so well, Tracy listened, REALLY listened hard, to singers like Hank Williams, Ralph Stanley, Lefty Frizzell, Kitty Wells, The Carter Family, The Louvin Brothers. He listened to what the instrumentalists and singers did to create an authentic-to-the-culture sound. He will be available to assist any of the instructors during class time and to do one-on-ones with students when requested.


July 9, 2015
7:30 pm - 11:55 pm
Event Categories:
Event Tags:
, , , , , , , ,


Augusta Heritage Center
(304) 637-1209


Myles Center for the Arts
100 Campus Dr.
Elkins, 26241 United States
+ Google Map