Jeannette Guy Viseur et Son Ensemble
The word originally denoted a small bagpipe-like instrument, which got together with a Hurdy Gurdy in late 19th century France and decided to have a party. Wine was served over checkered tablecloths, mustaches were twirled, skirts were gathered, and there was a lot of wonderful dancing and romance. It was kind of a bohemian thing and sometimes involved police. There were variations made especially for certain dances – tango musettes, waltz musettes, paso musettes, and one called, Java, that may or may not have featured coffee.
There were heroes of Musette, notably Martin Cayla, Emile Vacher, Charles Peguri, and Guy Visuer, who helped create the accordion-jazz style known as manouche that led to Django and hot jazz. The music lived in cabarets, bars, and nightclubs and eventually was displace by the premature tremors of rock and roll.
Thanks to recordings and curiosity there has been a revival and new appreciation of this style of music that extends what’s come before and and is taking it to unexplored territory. Richard Galliano is one the best know proponents and adventurers.