Beloved internationally and in their hometown of Lafayette, La.—where the band was formed in 2005 and where members Drew Simon and Thomas David were born and raised—the Pine Leaf Boys performed tonight at the Park at the Horse Farm at the Levitt AMP Lafayette Music Series, bringing their neo-traditional music to a space considered one of the last undeveloped properties in Cajun country. Learn more about the band!
Perhaps no description is more apt for the Pine Leaf Boys than their own: “Louisiana music: Worldwide.”
Over the past ten years, the band has brought their exuberant mix of Cajun, Creole and zydeco to not only 42 states across the country but also 22 countries around the world. On multiple occasions, they’ve been invited by the U.S. State Department to tour internationally as ambassadors of American music, performing in the Middle East (2009), Central Asia (2012) and Europe (2010 & 2013).
But whether they’re playing in their home state or overseas, the sound of the Pine Leaf Boys is unmistakably that of Louisiana, driven by a swinging accordion and fiddle and sung almost exclusively in traditional Cajun French.
Did you know?
The Pine Leaf Boys are four-time GRAMMY nominees.
Though the category of “Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album” was short-lived, the Pine Leaf Boys scored nominations from 2008–2011, every year the honor was presented. They hold the record for the most GRAMMY nominations of any Cajun/zydeco band.
The band had an unconventional start: getting kicked off of University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s campus.
After being told that their busking was disturbing the peace, the fledgling band started landing gigs when their story took off on local media. But there’s no bad blood with the university—bandleader/accordionist Wilson Savoy later taught Cajun music at the UL Lafayette’s School of Music’s Traditional Music program.
Bandmates Wilson Savoy and Courtney Granger appeared in HBO’s Treme as themselves.
Savoy, who won a GRAMMY in 2012 with Steve Riley and Wayne Toups as The Band Courtbouillon, appeared in three episodes of the critically acclaimed series about post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans; the fiddling Granger appeared in one episode.