Apprenticeship Program Profile: Creole Fiddle

Back in the early 1990s, when Ed Poullard apprenticed under the guidance of the famous Creole fiddler Canray Fontenot, he recalls being told how important this apprenticeship would be for future generations. As Ed remembers, “He said that when Canray’s gone, you become a torchbearer. You have to do whatever you can to bring this to others and show them what you know.”

Over two decades later, Ed has been one of, if not the, preeminent advocates of Creole fiddle: he travels all over the country and beyond, performing in folk festivals, giving workshops, and continuing as a torchbearer from Canray. Recently, Ed has become the master artist, passing what he has learned from Canray and others to apprentice Daniel Chevalier to continue the next generation of torchbearers for Creole fiddle music, and Creole music as a whole.

While Ed’s grandfather had played fiddle, the accordion had been his first instrument. Born in Eunice, Louisiana Ed moved with his family to Beaumont, Texas at nine months as the oil business provided a better living than what was available in Louisiana at that time. Growing up in a musical family of multiple accordion players on both sides, he had also started on the instrument at first. But, after an accident that injured his right hand prevented him from playing accordion, his father had him play his grandfather’s fiddle. Through the direction of his father on accordion and his mother, who did not play an instrument but possessed a keen musical ear, Ed continued on fiddle.



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