Builder: Jude Moreau
Jude Moreau, bandleader of the Bon Temps Playboys and an inductee in the Cajun Music Hall of Fame, started playing accordions back when they were all handmade. Every time something had to be repaired on his instrument, he had to travel to Lake Charles to have it fixed. So Moreau decided to start fixing — and building — accordions himself.
“It’s a Cajun thing,” Moreau said. “My daddy was like that too. If I can do something myself, I’m gonna learn to do it.”
It started with a lesson in tuning from John Lloyd Broussard. Soon after, with a little encouragement from another Broussard, Moreau did what any Cajun would do — he opened up his accordion to see how it was made.
Since then, he has passed along his knowledge to anyone willing to put in the time and effort.
“The first was Ed Poullard, a very dear friend of mine,” Moreau said. “He wanted me to build an accordion for his daughter. I told him, ‘You know what? You’re going to build it for your daughter. I’ll help you do it.’”
“A lot of youngsters — Wayne Toups kind of revived it for them — they want to play a progressive style of French music,” he said. “I just want them to remember where it came from. I can do it the new way, but I want to bring it back to the roots.”
Groves, Texas 77619