Michael Doucet, the Cajun fiddler best known for his work in the band BeauSoleil, generally doesn’t do a lot of teaching.
But when his buddy Bruce Molsky turned him on to the Acadia School of Traditional Music & Arts, Doucet raised his eyebrows.
“The name intrigued me,” Doucet said by phone from his home in Louisiana. “That’s why I got in touch with them. I try not to do more than one teaching seminar a year, maybe two. And I always pick the good ones. This one seemed really good because of the name and because of the French emphasis.”
Indeed, the school will bring world-class faculty to Bar Harbor for two weeks of teaching — and a lot of fun — in July.
The first week, from July 1-5, emphasizes Irish and old-time music. The second week, set for July 15-19, will emphasize Acadian and Quebecois music.
Doucet and Molsky are among the big-name instructors.
It proved a relatively easy commitment for Doucet, who has a summer place along the eastern shore of the Kennebec River near Bath.
He doesn’t like to wander too far from his summer home when he is in Maine. But the trek to the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor for the camp is well within his comfort zone.
“As long as I’m north of the Kennebec River, I’m still in Acadia,” he quipped.
The school focuses on Maine’s traditional culture, said director Chuck Donnelly, and is intended for musicians who are serious about learning from accomplished performers.
“There are a number of fiddle camps around the state that promote New England and Irish styles. But we’re ramping it up a bit,” Donnelly said. “The people I really want to reach are families and people who are seriously interested in expanding their knowledge of traditional music and their understanding of how it’s played.”
The school taps into a growing interest in traditional music and dance.
Donnelly has been performing traditional music more than a decade.
In addition to daily classes, the school will host evening concerts that are open to the public.
Donnelly is rightfully proud of the instructors he has lined up for this summer’s school. Doucet may be the best known, but he’s hardly the only one with a world-class resume.
Faculty for the Irish camp include Molsky, Kevin Burke and Cal Scott. Molsky and Scott are premier guitarists. Burke is one of the great Irish fiddlers of our time. The Cajun camp lineup features the band Vishten, fiddler Troy MacGillivray and guitarist Ryan McGiver.
Donnelly is counting on people from Portland to come up for the school — to learn and to enjoy the music.
“The Portland area has a rich traditional music community that we are sure will be interested in our program,” he said. “But we are expecting people from all over the country. This is a really good lineup of instructors, and this is a chance to learn from some of the truly top performers in the world,” Donnelly said.
Oui, oui to that.
Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or: