1017764_658451897563258_5353394299386085102_nWho is Deborah Monlux?


Deborah Monlux founded Bayou ‘n Brooklyn in 2011, paving the way for a cultural exchange through music, art, dance and folklore. She was first inspired by the music of renowned Cajun fiddler David Greely in 2010 and bridged the geographic gap by starting video-conference lessons with him shortly after.


Deborah often travels to Louisiana to participate in festivals and workshops, and soak up the Louisiana-born music and culture. She has played a prominent role in promoting the introduction of Cajun, Creole and Zydeco music and culture to  Brooklyn by producing performances and jam sessions at venues that include Galapagos Arts, the Atlantic Antic and Flatbush Frolic. She also manages and plays fiddle in the Catahoula Cajun Band, a New York-based Cajun dance band. 


536789_279401668801618_159923304_nDo you have upcoming events you’d like people to attend?


Yes, the 4th Annual Bayou ‘N Brooklyn Music Festival, Brooklyn’s Only Cajun, Creole and Zydeco Festival, which returns to the Jalopy Music Theatre, Brooklyn, New York – May 9, 10, 11, 2014 . The fourth installment of the festival brings together an amazing line-up of Louisiana musicians, and Grammy award winners Wilson Savoy, and Joel Savoy to perform alongside local New York talent for three full days of music, dance, workshops and community jam sessions in Red Hook, Brooklyn. They will be welcoming the music of headliners Joel and Wilson Savoy, sons of Ann and Marc Savoy, who have been major forces in the revival and preservation of Cajun Music. Joining forces are bands: L’il Mo & The Monicats, Church Point Riot, Emily Duff Band, Dr. Zsa’s Powdered Zydeco, Empty Bottle Ramblers, Krewe de la Rue, Catahoula Cajun Band. For tickets and performance schedules click here


10246604_647046688703488_3642766264270999631_nWho is your greatest inspiration and why? 


I was first inspired by the music of renowned Cajun fiddler David Greely in 2010 and bridged the geographic gap by starting video-conference lessons with him shortly after. 


What would you like to accomplish in the next five years?


I would like to create a music series that allows collaboration of several bands and becomes a long-term social, educational and artistic event, which will have a permanent home in NYC and secure the series for the long term. 


unnamed-27What was the best gift that someone gave you that inspired or facilitated an interest in your art?


Lynette Wiley, owner of Jalopy Theatre and school of Music, with her long background in arts management, encouraged me to curate and bring together a community of Cajun Music spanning from North to South. This has been accomplished by doing something that has never done before, bringing Louisiana’s top musicians to Brooklyn to closely work with local musicians in performance and a full three day fest. 


“I’m always amazed at the talent AWoW gathers, and I’m  honored to share the same stage with such talented artists.” Jim Rodgers


Michelle Macau and Ron Ryan
Michelle Macau and Ron Ryan

The Showcase opened with Michelle Macau and Ron Ryan bringing to life a slice of Joe Davidson’s new play, The Rekindling.  In the scene, Michelle ‘s Jean Thompson manipulated, seduced and cajoled Ron’s paranoid and confused Barney Morris to agree to murder his wife. Great scene, well served. 


Two core members of Church Point Riot, Charles Perkalis, accordion, and Michel Henry, vocals and guitar, joined by Deborah Monlux on the ‘tit – fer, (triangle), gave a snippet of what it would be like sitting on a Louisiana front porch playing Cajun Country and Blues music of Southern Louisiana. They played four traditional French Cajun Music pieces, swinging deflty between two high-energy two-steps, a sultry waltz and a blues. Church Point Riot Kicks off its 4th Annual Bayou ‘n Brooklyn Music Festival at 8:30PM on May 9th, produced by AWOW member Deborah Monlux.


Matt Turk
Matt Turk

Unplugged and acoustic Matt Turk opened his performance with the chicken picking country blues original “Hobo Boy.”  Matt got the crowd joyfully scat singing in “call and response. ” Next he brought his friend and fiddler Deni Bonet to the stage to join him on fiddle in performances of “Cold Revival” and “When a Boy.”  “Cold Revival” featured Matt on the mandolin and “When A Boy” had an uplifting audience singing the chorus to round out the showcase. 


Jim Rodgers returned to The Cell and read from his novel, “Long Night’s End.”  Jim read the opening chapter of the novel, which, in a very fast-paced and visceral manner, illustrates the origins of the demons that haunt the protagonist, Johnny Gunn. The scene, which takes place in a downtown club as Johnny performs his guitar solo, sets the stage for the moral and emotional battles that Johnny must endure in the months to come. Switching from humor to heartbreaking tragedy without allowing the listeners to catch their breath, the narration left no doubt that Johnny Gunn is steaming through some very dark and dangerous waters. The only question that remains is whether or not Johnny will survive those waters. Jim has a way of getting the audience involved in his readings. That’s a talent. Great read, as always. 


Charles R. Hale
Charles R. Hale

Violinist Annette Homann, who has performed from the classical repertory a number of times at The Cell, took a different performing route. Annette performed two songs for solo violin/voice. She opened with a humorous version of “When I’m Sixty-Four,” during which the audience hummed and sang along.  Her second tune was “If We Go” by the band Youth in a Roman Field. The second tune, a love song, was accompanied by a strummed violin, a unique and unusual way of using the violin. Everyone loves Annette. 


First time presenter Richard Deane read a scene from his novel-in-progress “When Yesterday Comes”. The scene poignantly explores the existential conflict between a cabdriver’s skittish trepidations and the allurement of his prurient desires as he drives two menacing street pimps uptown to Harlem on Christmas Day.


Sasha Papernik
Sasha Papernik

Sasha Papernik, classical pianist, singer, and songwriter closed the evening performing two original songs: “Carolina” from her sophomore album, Love in a Box, and a brand new song called “Not The One in the Footage that You See.” She was thrilled to play on the Cell’s beautiful piano, which was moved onto the stage just for the event.  Sasha will be appearing next at Carnegie Hall for eight shows the week of May 5th as part of their popular school series, Musical Explorers. For more music and information about future performances, you can find her on facebook at or on her official site


The next Showcase at The Cell will be on Tuesday, May 27th, 7pm. For more information about Artists Without Walls contact


All photos were taken by Vera Hoar except Sasha Papernik’s, which was taken by Richard Velasco.