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The Cat Island Accordion and French Camp was launched in 2013 on Cat Island, the birthplace of Rake & Scrape in The Bahamas. Ms. Diana Hamilton, Camp Director & Founder, initially recruited seven young Cat Islanders ranging in age from eight to fifteen, who had shown a passion for the accordion.

Ms. Hamilton, a Bahamian performing artist, is a vocalist in the folk music tradition. She had resided for close to 20 years in France and upon returning to The Bahamas in 2012, she was alarmed that the tradition of accordion playing was almost nonexistent. She recognizes that the accordion is integral to the authentic Bahamian Music genre of Rake & Scrape, and that if Rake & Scrape is to be preserved in its authentic format, it is critical that young Bahamians learn to play the instrument. She made it a personal mission to revive the art of accordion playing in The Bahamas and recruited international Master Accordionist Luc Papet aka Maestro Robert Santiago from France to assist her effort.

Maestro Santiago embraced Ms. Hamilton’s dream and has since dedicated his summers to teaching the techniques of accordion playing. His classes are conducted entirely in French, and the students absorb the language naturally through their immersion in the process of learning the instrument.

The camp is being hosted in New Providence for the first time in 2016, and will have a group of ten new students who have a keen interest in learning the accordion. It will run over a three-week period, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Organization / Contact
Ms. Diana Hamilton
(242) 423-0435

Nassau, N.P.