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Michael Doucet

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Michael Doucet (February 14, 1951) is an American Cajun fiddler, singer and songwriter from Lafayette, Louisiana. He founded the Cajun band Beausoleil.

In 2005 Doucet was one of 12 recipients of the National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts. The NEA award, which recognizes artistic excellence, cultural authenticity and an artist’s contributions, is the highest honor in U.S. folk and traditional arts. Doucet received Grammy Awards in both 1998 and 2009 for work with Beausoleil.

He was named a 2007 USA Collins Family Foundation Fellow and awarded a $50,000 grant by United States Artists, a public charity that supports and promotes the work of American artists. In 2008, he released From Now On, his solo cajun fiddle album, on Smithsonian Folkways.
He learned the banjo by age six, the guitar by his eighth year, and was researching Cajun music as a college student. In his youth he performed as part of a duo at a music festival in France. At the festival he was exposed to centuries-old French music, which he identified with the Cajun music of French Louisiana. He played mandolin on his old Rounder album, Le Hoogie Boogie.
In 1975, Doucet received an NEA Folk Arts Apprenticeship Grant to study Cajun fiddle styles from masters such as Varise Conner, Hector Duhon, Canray Fontenot, Lionel LeLeux, and Dennis McGee.
Doucet’s individual style incorporated elements of Western swing, 1930’s string band and Creole music, into traditional Cajun music. Doucet learned late 19th century and 20th century tunes passed on by McGee.

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