Cajun fiddler Hadley J. Castille, a frequent performer at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, passed away Thursday after a battle with cancer. He was 79.
Castille is best known for the song “200 Lines: I Must Not Speak French,” part of his drive to preserve Cajun culture in public schools.
His guitarist son Blake and fiddler granddaughter Sarah Jayde were in his band.
Castille was born to a Cajun French speaking family in Leonville, Louisiana where his uncle Cyprien Castille taught him to play the fiddle. Under the influence of Cajun violinist Harry Choates, he developed his own approach to the music.
OffBeat will post a full obituary in the December issue.
Below, an excerpt of a performance from November of last year.