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In 1990 James "Chico" Converse, a fiddle-playing and fl uent-in-French Cajun vocalist, started a group with several other musicians in the Cincinnati area who shared a strong interest in Louisiana Cajun music as performed with traditional instrumentation of accordion, fiddle, guitar, and percussion. A year later, at Chico's invitation Chris Carmichael joined the group on guitar. Soon after, Yvan Verbesselt joined on percussion, and then over several years a new accordionist and two bass players including Chuck Wiggins and Chris Cusentino added their talents to the ensemble. In the last few years Lagniappe has been rewarded with the exceptional musicianship of Dick Franz on accordion, John Mooter playing keyboard, cornet, trombone, slide trumpet and tuba and Jessie Berne on electric bass, fiddle, and clarinet. Making the most of the various talents and interests of all the musicians, Lagniappe has diversified its performances by adding other musical styles to the repertoire, but always with one eye looking back toward Louisiana.

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