This Crossroads Conversation is presented by St. Landry Parish.
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, Watson 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, Watson performed French music in 17 countries and on seven 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, with whom he appeared at the Waterfront Blues Fest in 2012. Watson performs this year with Jourdan Thibodeaux et Les Rôdailleurs.
With an apparently bottomless repertoire of songs at his fingertips, Cedric plays everything from forgotten Creole melodies and obscure Dennis McGee reels to more modern Cajun and Zydeco songs, even occasionally throwing in a bluegrass fiddle tune or an old string band number. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he is also a prolific songwriter, writing almost all of his songs on his double-row Hohner accordion. Cedric’s songs channel his diverse ancestry (African, French, Native American and Spanish) to create his own brand of sounds.
Cedric’s albums are a tapestry of pulsing rhythms and Creole poetry, and his live performances are unforgettable, all at once progressive and nostalgic. Watson says, “We don’t want to forget that one of the biggest contributions to our culture, music and heritage was made by the Native Americans. I find that the old Zydeco rhythms sound like a mix of African and Native American ceremonial rhythms. This mélange very possibly came about through the intermingling of the Native American population and the Maroons.”