LA Folklife banner

Verret, Errol

Cajun Musician, Accordion Maker, and Boat Maker

Errol Verret played the accordion with the popular Cajun band Beausoleil for almost a decade before joining the Basin Brothers. Born and raised along the Atchafalaya River Basin, he is one of Louisiana's most highly regarded accordionists. He is recognized for his unusually graceful and innovative accordion style, which combines the essence of old-style Cajun playing with original counterpoints and outstanding technique. He has performed with many well-know musicians like Richard Thompson, Emmy Lou Harris, and Chet Atkins.

Errol has recorded with Beausoleil and the Basin Brothers, as well as with Sonny Landreth, Joel Sonnier, Dennis McGee, Canray Fontenot, and others. With Beausoleil and the Basin Brothers, he has performed at clubs and festivals throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, including the Smithsonian's Festival of American Folklife, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and concerts at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center.

He is also a highly skilled accordion maker and his Evangeline accordions are regarded as among the most beautiful and finest sounding Cajun accordions available. As a master musical instrument maker, he is a member of the Louisiana Crafts Program.

Errol Verret is also a master boat builder who has built pirogues, houseboats, and other boats traditional to the Atchafalya Basin. In 1991, he received a Louisiana Folklife Apprenticeship grant to teach wooden boat building to apprentice Garland Frederick. He received a National Endowment for the Arts grant to build a wooden houseboat under the tutelage of master boat builder Albert Latiolais in 1986. He is also a fine cook, specializing in traditional Cajun camp dishes like crawfish etoufee, gumbo, and Cajun barbecue. He is knowledgeable about many other aspects of traditional life in his Atchafalaya homeland, like crawfishing and net-making.