Marc Savoy Shares The Fascinating History Of Cajun Music’s Iconic Instrument

Article Contributed by IVPR | Published on Friday, November 5, 2021

Most strands of American music have an iconic instrument. Horns for jazz, banjos for bluegrass, and electric guitars for rock and roll, but few invoke the immediate recognition as the accordion found in the wildly unique music of Louisiana Cajuns. And few know the instrument as intimately as world-renowned accordion player, builder, and author, Marc Savoy. Upon seeing a Louisiana-handmade diatonic accordion for the first time in 1957, a teenage Marc Savoy began his life quest: to build the perfect Cajun accordion. For Savoy, the story of his favorite instrument—and long-time livelihood—was one that deserved to be told, and tell it he has. On November 15th, Savoy’s new book, Made in Louisiana: The Story of the Acadian Accordion will be released via UL press.

Told in Savoy’s own words, Made in Louisiana is the story of the evolution of his Acadian brand accordions—from being a young prodigy to a self-made businessman to a music store owner to a definitive figure in Cajun music—but it is also the story of how an instrument once known as the “German-style” accordion became the iconic image of Louisiana’s Cajun culture.

To learn more and to pre-order Made in Louisiana please visit the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press website at this link.

To celebrate the release of Made in Louisiana, the iconic Savoy Family Band will be getting together at the Hideaway on Lee in Lafayette, Louisiana, for a very special pre-release launch party. More information, including how to purchase tickets, can be found right here.

Praise for Made in Louisiana:

“Awe-inspiring. Made in Louisiana delves into the world of Cajun culture and the one-row diatonic squeezebox. With his legendary years of experience—a passion for music preservation and building fine accordions—Marc Savoy takes us on a memorable journey to a unique place in America by seamlessly weaving history, music, and tradition into one fascinating and enjoyable read.” —Gilbert Reyes, Hohner Brand Director

“Marc Savoy, in his own inimitable way as a crusty, creative perfectionist, has given us a book that is at once a history of the accordion globally as well as in French Louisiana in his and his ancestors’ lives. A master accordion-maker and Cajun music virtuoso, Savoy engages the complex evolution in Cajun culture from a lived point of view—family, touring, and running a small, but influential business from Eunice, Louisiana. He forcefully asserts that Cajun and Creole music is the ‘glue’ that will hold French Louisiana culture and communities together into the future. The Savoy family of musicians, producers, writers, and educators are living proof.” —Nick Spitzer, producer of American Routes, professor of anthropology, Tulane University

©2021 University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press
Hardcover | 126 Pages | 10" x 10" | ISBN: 9781946160805

More About Author Marc Savoy: Born in 1940, Marc Savoy grew up in a rural French-speaking community outside of Eunice, Louisiana, and started playing the accordion at age twelve. By age twenty, he was building and selling his own Acadian-brand Cajun accordions. In 1966, he opened the doors to the iconic Savoy Music Center in his hometown. Today, he is revered as one of the finest builders and players of the instrument in the world.