A brief history…
Grammy award nominee, Al Berard, was born in 1960 in Grand Anse, Louisiana, a town so small it is not even on most maps. He began playing music at the age of eleven, and by the time he was an adult, he was an accomplished fiddle, guitar and mandolin player. In addition to playing instruments, Berard also sings and composes music. Although he started out playing rock & roll, it wasn’t long before Cajun music became its replacement. Berard learned many of his Cajun tunes from recordings by legendary Cajun musicians such as Dennis McGee and Dewey Balfa, and took his first fiddle lessons from Hadley Castille.
After graduation, Berard founded The Basin Brothers Band, performing a repertoire of country, traditional and original Cajun music at festivals, clubs and workshops through the United States and Europe. The Basin Brothers’ goal was to promote and preserve Cajun culture and music.
Over the years, Berard has also performed with Errol Verret, fellow-fiddler Karen “Frenchie” England, Jason Frey, Pope Huval, Ray Landry, Robert LeBlanc, and the bands File & Sacaulait, to name a few.
Al currently owns a recording studio in addition to a music publishing company. His work includes composition, production, recording and editing for television and film in addition to his continued involvement with the Basin Brothers and other Louisiana Bands and projects. He resides in Cecilia, Louisiana.
Along with a myriad of other awards, one of his biggest accomplishments is the CFMA’s Award of Excellence, which is to reward the absolute excellence of musicians at their craft. It is intended for the “musician’s musician,” the one everyone tries to emulate.
- The Times Music Award – Best Country/Swamp Pop Guitarist, 1989
- The Times Music Award – Best Country Guitarist, 1990
- Grammy Nominated Finalist – Best Traditional Folk Music for “Let’s Get Cajun” with The Basin Brothers Band, 1991
- Cajun French Music Association –Best Fiddle Recording for “The Grand Anse Fiddle,” 1992
- Cajun French Music Association – Fiddler of the Year Nomination, 2003
- Cajun French Music Association – Best Recording Nomination for “Deaux Violons” with The Basin Brothers Band, 2003
- Cajun French Music Association – Award of Excellence, 2004
- Cajun French Music Association – Fiddler of the Year, 2007
- Cajun French Music Association – People’s Choice Award with Jason Frey, 2006-2007