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September 18, 2007 > Cajun-Zydeco Festival

Cajun-Zydeco Festival

Celebrating Louisiana Culture

By Anuja Seith

Music will fill the air at Ardenwood Historic Farm announcing the arrival of the 11th annual Cajun Zydeco music festival. "This festival first came into being when Ardenwood started looking for some different type of special event," says Ira Bletz, supervising naturalist at the farm. It not only showcases a unique style of music, but also supports the Park Express Transportation Program for schools in low income areas and groups serving senior or disabled persons visiting East Bay Regional Parks.

Fiddles and accordions combine with several unorthodox instruments to create a unique sound and rhythm that celebrates the bayous of Louisiana and a blend of cultures. Zydeco comes from French-speaking African American population of southern Louisiana, while Cajun music traces its roots to Acadian, French speaking white settlers, exiled from Nova Scotia in Canada.

Homeless wanderers, these folks settled in the swamps of Louisiana. Tales of their trials and tribulations were woven into music that gathered bits and pieces from Native American Indians, French and Black creoles. Until World War II, these two musical techniques rarely strayed from original compositions but in the late 1940's, Louisiana's Creole musicians, inspired by rhythm and blues and jazz began creating sounds that underscored an accordion medley.

This festival offers a rare blend of bands including Tee Fee Swamp Boogie, Motor Dude Zydeco, Corey Ledet & his Zydeco Band, Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic, Geno Delafose and French Rockin' Boogie, from Louisiana that plays both Zydeco and Cajun songs. Tap your toes to the soft country music of Cajuns or soulful jazz and blues of Zydeco. If the tempo of these tunes moves you to dance, you will have plenty of company including trained instructors to offer dance lessons.

As blue skies give way to a ceiling of stars, festival goers can relax and snuggle into a blanket with a bowl of gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish or bite into a Po'boy sandwich completing a traditional Louisiana cultural experience.

Cajun-Zydeco Festival
Saturday, September 22
10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont
(510) 796-0199
www.ebparks.org

Tickets: $20 adults, $ children 4-15 years
Free Parking

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