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Swamperella was founded in 1996 by fiddler and vocalist Soozi Schlanger. Soozi’s passion for Cajun music took her to Louisiana where she absorbed the styles of Dennis McGee and the Balfa Brothers.
She was soon joined by Peter Jellard on accordion, fiddle and vocals. Peter was an alumnus of the Cajun Ramblers and first heard Cajun music while busking in France, later going to Louisiana to study.
Conny Nowe and Rachel Melas have held the guitar and bass seats, respectively, in Swamperella since 1997. Conny is a veteran of the alternative music scene, drumming in bands for years before turning her attention to acoustic guitar and more recently, mandolin. Rachel has been playing electric bass since 1975, started playing upright bass with Swamperella, and currently plays lots of jazz, bluegrass, Klezmer and of course, Cajun music.
Dave MacDougall joined Swamperella on drums and percussion in 2010.
Dave is a very accomplished musician and got the hang of playing the triangle right away! When he’s not swingin’ in the back of a Cajun and Zydeco band Dave does musical theatre and jazz gigs and teaches drums.
Swamperella has released four CDs and toured Canada coast to coast. They have enlivened the Festival du Voyageur, Stan Rogers Festival, The Islands Folk Festival, Lunenburg Festival, Mémoire et Racines, Summerfolk, and many more venues large and small.