Cajuns Denbo are a six piece band based in Bangor, North Wales, who have established themselves as Wales’ leading purveyors of the Cajun and Zydeco dance rhythms more usually associated with South West Louisiana. What distinguishes Cajuns Denbo is the fact that they perform the majority of their material in their native Welsh language.
The band began singing in English and French but, as things progressed and original material was written, Welsh began to take prominence. This was so successful that traditional Cajun songs already in the repertoire were soon being played with lyrics translated into Welsh. Cajun and Welsh form a very happy marriage, bringing together the traditions of two bilingual cultures which have many similarities. It’s a joyous mixture, as witnessed by those who have seen the band live.
Over the last few years they have been making their mark on the festival scene, with appearances at several major events, including Gloucester Cajun and Zydeco Festival, Crawley Folk Festival, Bury Louisiana Festival, Cork International Jazz Festival in Ireland and the Lorient Interceltic Festival in Brittany.
Back home in Wales, Cajuns Denbo are regulars at most of the major festivals, having appeared several times at the prestigious Gwyl Y Cnapan. They were the first band to headline twice at Sesiwn Fawr in Dolgellau, Wales’ leading roots music event, with their performance in 2000 being watched by an estimated 10,000 people as well as being broadcast live on satellite TV and BBC radio. The band have also been featured live on over a dozen other TV and radio programmes and tracks from their two CD’s are featured regularly on Radio Cymru, the BBC’s Welsh language radio station.
The line up comprises fiddle, accordion and guitar, backed by bass and drums/triangle.
All the bands’ members have a long history of playing roots music, which gives a balanced blend of talent and natural exuberance to their music. They have often been recruited either as a unit or as individuals to back touring Louisiana musicians such as bluesmen Lazy Lester and Phil Guy, Cajun acts Sheryl Cormier and Balfa Toujours and, Mr.”Toot Toot” himself, Zydeco star Rockin’ Sidney.