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Accordion Maker and Player
Mr. Andrew Jagneaux is from a place near Church Point, Louisiana. Mr. Jagneaux is a musician as well as an accordion maker; judging from his sound, he's an expert at both. Mr. Jagneaux began making accordions when he retired from Freeport Sulphur Company in 1987. What began as a hobby has turned into an almost full-time job. Before making his first accordion, Mr. Jagneaux talked to well-known accordion makers Fred Cormier and Randy Vasseaur. They shared their accordion making techniques and encouraged Mr. Jagneaux to make his own accordions. Mr. Jagneaux studied an old accordion by taking it apart to see exactly how it was put together. He then built his first accordion, which he still plays.
Mr. Jagneaux says, "When I build an accordion, I want only the best. Being a musician myself, I know music, and I know the sound I want to get. I get the bellows and handcrafted reeds from Italy. There are cheaper ones, but I use only the best. I want the accordion to speak for itself." Jagneaux uses highly polished, exotic woods like teak, mahogany, and purple heart to house the music making components of his accordions, making them both musical and an artistic treasures.
Mr. Jagneaux learned to play by listening to others and by trying to imitate those he considered to be "tops." Since he has no children, Andrew is teaching a nephew from Baton Rouge how to play. Beaming proudly as this he demonstrates his talent, Andrew knows his style will be carried on!
Mr. Jagneaux has participated in the Natchitoches/NSU Folk Festival and other festivals around the state. This offers festival-goers a chance to hear a master accordionist playing; since Mr. Jagneaux also delights in telling and showing people just how he goes about making his one-of-a- kind musical instruments. He frequently demonstrates his craft for the public. In addition, he plays at local clubs, church for the Cajun French Choir, the nursing home, and private dances. Andrew Jagneaux and "Cajun Roots" often play for KSLO's live Saturday night broadcast and at the Liberty Theater in Eunice. Jagneaux is active in other Acadia and St. Landry chapters of the Cajun French Music Association of which he is a charter member.
Updated Febuary 6, 2017 by Natchitoches-NSU Louisiana Folklife Center Staff