Lafayette Mourns the Loss of Cherished Musician Chris Stafford

The Lafayette community is grieving the sudden loss of local musician Chris Stafford, a prodigious talent whose life was tragically cut short in a car accident on Pinhook Road on Thursday morning (May 2). At just 36, Stafford was cherished for his remarkable musical abilities and his kind and generous spirit.

A Lafayette native, Stafford was a pivotal figure in the local music scene, having co-founded the Cajun-Americana band Feufollet at the age of 11. His passion for music was not just a career but a profound calling that saw him play with nearly every band in the region. He embodied the local joke printed in an Acadiana Profile feature on Stafford: “there are 100 bands in town, but only 10 musicians.”

Stafford’s impact on local culture is impossible to measure. He was a master of many instruments, from the accordion to the steel pedal guitar, and his talents extended beyond performance to songwriting and music production. His recording studio, Staffland Studio, became a hub for local musicians, nurturing the careers of many who are now leaving tributes behind.

The news of his death sent shockwaves through the local music scene and the community at large. Zydeco musician Chris Ardoin sent prayers to Stafford’s family, describing the 36-year-old prodigy as a “great musician” and a “great guy.”

Herman Fuselier, a renowned expert on Cajun and zydeco music, expressed the collective heartbreak, noting that the joy of a hometown musician (Dwayne Dopsie Rubin) playing with the Rolling Stones was sharply contrasted by the sadness of Stafford’s passing.

Tributes were poured in from fellow musicians and friends, who painted a picture of a man beloved for his musical genius, generosity, and warmth. Grammy-winning artist Wilson Savoy shared his grief openly, saying, “Chris was always a kind soul and just a wonderful human if I’ve ever known one… We are all in disbelief and shock.”

The accident remains under investigation by Lafayette Police, but the loss has already left a profound void in the hearts of many. Chris Stafford’s legacy will live on through the melodies he created and the community he built around his love for music.

As tributes continue to pour in, Stafford is remembered as a musician and a beacon of joy and creativity. His spirit will live on through his music, touching the hearts of those who knew him and hopefully inspiring future generations.

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