The Kennedy Center

Cedric Watson and Bijou Creole


One of the most noted young talents to emerge in Cajun or Creole music in the past few years, Cedric Watson is a fiddler, vocalist, accordionist, and songwriter of seemingly unlimited potential. Born in 1983, Cedric grew up in San Felipe, Texas surrounded by the sounds of blues, old soul, country and zydeco. Unlike his hip-hop focused peers, Mr. Watson was drawn to the old-style French songs of Southwest Louisiana and the greater Houston area. He soon made his way to Lafayette, LA where he was enthusiastically accepted into the musical community and immediately recognized as an important participant in the continuity of Creole music.

Mr. Watson has played with some of the great family names in Creole music, including Dexter Ardoin and the Creole Ramblers and Jeffrey Broussard and the Creole Cowboys. With the Pine Leaf Boys, he expanded his repertoire of Cajun songs while adding his Creole and zydeco foundation to the band's true-to-the-roots Southwest Louisiana sound. He plays old La-La French music (traditional Creole music) in a trio of accordion, fiddle and guitar with his two musical godfathers, Edward Poullard and James Adams, in Les Amis Creole. With accordionist Corey "Lil' Pop" Ledet, Mr. Watson turns to the more blues and R&B influenced songs of Clifton Chenier, John Delafose, Canray Fontenot, and Bebe Carrier.

Now Mr. Watson continues to explore the roots of Louisiana’s Creole music with his own band, Bijoux Creole. Playing a variety of old-school zydeco styles, original material and Creole traditionals, the polyrhythmic and syncopated sounds of Africa and the Caribbean are unmistakable in this ensemble of talented musicians.

Mr. Watson has been making a name for himself reviving the old Creole fiddling styles of Canray Fontenot and Bebe Carrier, injecting a healthy dose of his own personality and ingenuity, and bringing them to an ever-broadening audience. He has played across the U.S. as well as in France, Nova Scotia, Haiti, and Spain, and would like next to go to West Africa and other parts of the French Caribbean. He has a keen interest in connecting Louisiana Creole music back to its homelands.

Watch Past Performances

Video 7/25/2019: The Cedric Watson Trio

Cedric Watson, a four-time Grammy®–nominated fiddler, singer, accordionist, and songwriter, is one of the brightest contemporary talents to emerge in Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco music over the last decade. Watson’s creative style and obvious joy in playing make him an engaging and exciting performer. Moving with ease between fiddle and accordion, his natural playfulness takes presence on stage. The Cedric Watson Trio also includes multi-instrumentalist Chris Stafford (of the band Feufollet) and rubboardist Desireé Champagne.

Presented in partnership with the Library of Congress Homegrown series with American Folklife Center.

Cedric Watson and Bijou Creole