Eighteen year old Blake Miller, of Kaplan, Louisiana has been playing the french accordion for 6 years. A student of Mr. Donny Broussard, Blake has found his passion in playing traditional Cajun tunes. Yesterday, along with my family, I attended an autism awareness event in downtown Kaplan. Blake was on stage, giving it his best. Afterwards I got a chance to talk to him a bit and here is what he had to say:
Why are you drawn to Cajun music? Because of my roots and family and the drive of it. Cajun music has such a drive compared to other genres.
What first inspired you? My dad played accordion when I was born and there’s actually pictures of him playing his accordion and me as an infant reaching up for his accordion, trying to take it from him. He let me listen to Cajun music all my life so it got into my blood.
What is your favorite part of playing the music? The fun of interacting with the crowd and the band members. And seeing the people’s reaction to good music.
How long do you think you’ll be playing Cajun music? All my life. I’m not going anywhere, not changing anything. I’m enjoying it too much.
Are there many people your age, playing traditional Cajun music? There are a few my age. The youngest I’ve seen is probably about 9. The younger generation is picking the music back up…it kinda died off a little bit but the younger generation is bringing it back. That is what our goal is.
When you hear the word Cajun what do you think of? I think of my life….my hometown, my family, where my roots are. Cajun is South Louisiana.
What do you think makes up a Cajun? It’s in my genes, in my blood lines. I mean you can move down here and be a semi-Cajun. But when you’re born here and it’s in your blood….there’s just no doubt about it. You’re Cajun. You can’t change that.
Where do you see yourself in 20 years? I’ll be attending school to be a paramedic. I see myself being a paramedic, playing cajun music, and just enjoying life…as it’s supposed to be done.
What do you think is most important to keep this music alive? To stick to the roots. People tend to veer off. But if you stick to your roots, if you keep to the traditional music, keep it alive and coming from the heart…then that’s what attracts people to it…from Louisiana and outside of Louisiana. They are attracted to that heartfelt feeling that the musician puts off that plays Cajun music.