The rollicking dance music called zydeco is a quirky invention that could only have happened in Southwest Louisiana, where descendants of French and Creole-speaking African Americans (who today call themselves Creoles) merged their ancient songs with a rhythm and blues beat. The essential instruments are an amplified accordion, and a frottoir or scrub board, a corrugated sheet-metal vest played with bottle openers that is surely one of the loudest percussion instruments every invented. Read more.
Chubby Carrier talks about the difference between Cajun and Zydeco music, its origins and how he interprets the tradition of the music he grew up with. It’s “music of the people, music to make you happy.”
Last summer, the search for Amédé Ardoin seemed to have hit its final dead end. Lawrence Ardoin, a descendant of the legendary Creole accordionist, was working with officials at the state mental institution in Pineville, La. to erect a statue for Amédé, considered by many to be the godfather of zydeco and Cajun music.
But Ardoin is one of 2,469 patients buried in unmarked graves on the hospital grounds. With no way to know which grave holds Amédé, Lawrence Ardoin was giving up. Read more
Creole for Kidz & The History of Zydeco is a CD and live show created by musician and educator Terrance Simien. He’s taken the show on the road up and down the eastern seaboard, including a special presentation at the Berklee College of Music for its American Roots Music and African Studies visiting arts program. Read more
Last weekend Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble kicked off the Philadelphia launch of Zydeco Crossroads with a live concert and dance party at the Kimmel Center. Curley did an interview with Stephanie Renée, host of the radio show The Mojo and the The Recharge on 900AM-WURD. Listen to the interview here.
Michael Doucet (of Beausoleil) sat down with World Cafe’s David Dye for an interview during Sense of Place: Lafayette. The Louisiana musician and university professor covered a multitude of topics during the session, including the history of Creole and Cajun cultures in Southwest Louisiana. Read more.
Latin Roots is World Cafe‘s periodic in-depth look at the traditional music of Latin countries and their place in contemporary genres. On this special edition, KRVS’s Diego Martin Perez, host of La Vellonera on the Lafayette radio station, discusses the cross-section of cajun, zydeco and Latin music revolving around the accordion. Read more.
Major Handy is a true “musician’s musician” in the world of zydeco. A 2010 article in Living Blues magazine spotlighted the Lafayette / St. Martinville, Louisiana native and the many contributions he’s made to music during his 40 year career, detailing the time Otis Redding asked a 15 year old Major to play in his band and the 12 years he spent with Rockin’ Dopsie. He also performed his song “Down On the Bayou” for WXPN late last month. Read more.