Inducted on March 19, 2016
Terry Huval has been a prominent local figure in the Cajun music scene since the 1970’s. As founder and leader of the well-known Jambalaya Cajun Band, he serves as an ambassador to the rich culture of south Louisiana, in addition to being a mentor to its younger generation of musicians. Huval is also widely recognized for his role as director of utilities for the Lafayette-owned electric, water, sewer and telecommunications utility system, which has over 500 employees and an annual budget of over $250 million.
Although raised and educated in the rural Breaux Bridge area, he was actually born in Port Arthur, Texas – where his father was employed at a petrochemical plant in Port Neches. His parents returned to their Cajun roots before Huval’s second birthday. Even though no one in his family played any musical instruments, Huval was enamored of the music he heard on television and radio and saved up money to mail-order purchase his first guitar at age ten, with his main lessons coming from the manual and the 45 RPM record that came with it. Since then, he has learned how to play other instruments and is now recognized for his performances on the fiddle and steel guitar.
A native-speaker of Cajun French, Huval was a charter member of the “Jambalaya Band” in 1977. The first version of the band played its first Festival Acadien performance in 1978 and recorded its first album in 1979. For a short time, an evolution of the band focused more on country music under the name of “The Silver Dollar Band,” but returned to a predominantly Cajun music repertoire in 1987 under the name of “The Jambalaya Cajun Band,” with its membership consisting of Reggie Matte, Bobby Dumatrait, Ken David, and Tony Huval – the same members it has today. Terry and his band have travelled to various parts of the US, Canada, and Europe. The band has also recorded six CD’s, garnering numerous awards from the Cajun French Music Association (CFMA). In addition to their live performances, Huval has led the band’s focus to pay various tributes to local and national Cajun music legends. Through the years, Huval has played with a host of Cajun legends such as, Jimmy C Newman, Doug Kershaw, Jo-El Sonnier, D. L. Menard, Vin Bruce, Wayne Toups, Steve Riley, Michael Doucet, Shirley Bergeron, Aldus Rogers, and many others.
In 2007, Huval was inducted into the CFMA Hall of Fame and in 2011, was named honoree of the Mamou Cajun Music Festival. He was also inducted into the Louisiana Folklife Center’s Hall of Master Folk Artists in 2010. In 2015, he was inducted into the Ordre de La Confrerie Du Vin Suresnes.”
In 1994, Huval established a recording studio in his home, where, in addition to recording his own group, he helped launch the careers of Kristi Guillory, Jamie Bearb, Bill Grass, Horace Trahan, Kevin Naquin, Chris Stafford, Chris Segura, Courtney Granger, as well as recording legends such as D. L. Menard, Eddie LeJeune, Rodney LeJeune, Milton Vanicor, Hubert Maitre, Renaissance Acadien, and even Denmark’s Elsebeth Krogh and her group of international Cajun-Danish musicians. Keeping the tradition alive, he also recorded his French-immersion-educated sons, Luke and Phillip, along with their peers, Zachary Fuselier and Cameron Dupuy.
One of Huval’s recording projects, for which he was producer, performer and engineer, was D. L. Menard’s Happy Go Lucky which was nominated for a Grammy award in 2011. Huval accompanied Menard and other local musician who performed at the Louisiana party at the Grammys in Los Angeles, California.
Terry received his UL college degree in Electrical Engineering, where he was elected as student president of the College of Engineering. He was also recognized as the Outstanding Male Graduate of the university upon graduation.
After 16 years with Gulf States Utilities, initially in Baton Rouge, then in Lafayette, where he became manager of the Acadiana District, Huval was hired by then-Lafayette Mayor Kenny Bowen as Director of Utilities, overseeing the city-owned electric, water and wastewater system. He has since served under a total of four mayors – Bowen, Comeaux, Durel and Robideaux.
In 2007, Huval was elected as Board Chair of the national public power trade organization, American Public Power Association (APPA), making him the only Louisiana-based person to ever serve in this position in the 75-year history of APPA. He also earned a number of industry national awards. Huval has also served as board chair of the United Way of Acadiana and on the board of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce.
In 2004, Huval helped lead the effort to establish LUS Fiber, Lafayette’s citizen-owned Internet, cable television and telephone system. Despite strong opposition by incumbent telephone and cable systems, LUS Fiber has achieved great success and, having drawn positive attention and accolades to Lafayette – including being recognized as providing the fastest home internet in the world. In only seven short years, the system has already drawn over 35% of the market against entrenched, well-financed phone and cable giants. The system has helped to draw over 1000 new jobs to Lafayette and is held up as an example of how a community can move forward to help promote itself.
Huval is married to the former Sheri Guilbeau and has three sons, André, Phillip and Luke.