Hailing from Lafayette, Louisiana, T’Monde is a vibrant, critically acclaimed Cajun trio known for their pared-down, fiddle-driven sound; angelic vocal harmonies; and penchant for lesser-known, early twentieth century repertoire. Born out of a shared love for the rich and wide-ranging traditional music styles found throughout Cajun country, the group seamlessly moves between age-old French Creole ballads to Cajun dance music, weaving in elements of classic country and the blues. With their signature sound and a combined 10 Grammy nominations to their names, the members of T’Monde are among the most celebrated young artists carrying on the tradition today.
The product of Acadian, Afro-Creole, and French cultures blending in rural southwest Louisiana over more than three centuries, Cajun music is often sung in French, and usually features the fiddle or accordion as the lead instrument. It’s common to hear elements of classic country, blues, rock, and other influences, as Cajun music continues to thrive in the 21st century thanks to new generations of musicians like T’Monde taking up the mantle.
With a name meaning both “little world” and “little people” in Cajun French, T’Monde may be a small ensemble, but their music reflects the vast world of musical cultures residing in southwest Louisiana. Lafayette native, accordionist, and bandleader Drew Simon founded the group in 2011 as a side project while playing with the Pine Leaf Boys. He was joined by rhythm guitarist and award-winning vocalist Megan Brown Constantin, also of Lafayette; and North Carolina-born fiddler Kelli Jones of the renowned Lafayette-based group Feufollet. Since their debut, T’Monde has recorded three albums and played alongside the biggest names in Cajun music including the Pine Leaf Boys, the Savoy Family Band, the Magnolia Sisters, and Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys. The trio remains dedicated to their eclectic, austere, and at times hauntingly beautiful approach to music-making, described by Simon as “very listenable … meaning, you can sit down and listen to it as well as dance to it.” Whether audiences in Lowell choose to sit and listen or waltz across the dance floor, one thing is for sure: they won’t be able to resist entering the beautiful “little world” of T’Monde.
T'Monde will be joined by Thomas David on bass for their festival performances.