Drummer Clarence “Jockey” Etienne passed away today, August 18, 2015 in Louisiana at the age of 81.  He had bands of his own but found fame playing with others, like Marcel Dugas and the Entertainers, Lazy Lester, Buckwheat Zydeco, Fernest & the Thunders and the Creole Zydeco Farmers.  Funeral services are Saturday, Aug. 22 in Lafayette, LA.  Condolences go out to all his family, friends and fans.

The name Barry Ancelet isn’t widely known, but it should be.  He has been a tireless promoter of Cajun, Creole and zydeco music, and an outstanding academic at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.  After almost forty years, he is retiring from ULL, hopefully to continue his efforts, writing liner notes and announcing at the Festivals Acadiens et Créoles.  With his distinctive mustache, we wish him well, whatever he does!

New Orleans is blessed (or cursed) with two daily papers.  There’s the Times-Picayune, with ancestry back to 1837, and the New Orleans Advocate, a branch of the Baton Rouge Advocate.  Fortunately for us, they both sent photographers to this past weekend’s Cajun-Zydeco Festival in Armstrong Park.  Here’s the Picayune’s and here’s the Adovcate’s. As the usually do, WWOZ-FM broadcast the entire day Sunday.  It’s the first weekend in June every year, so make your plans for 2016!

This is the weekend for the Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival!  It’s in Armstrong Park, 701 N. Rampart Street, across S. Rampart St. from the French Quarter.  That’s Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7, 2015, open 11 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. both days.  Admission is free!  The main stage is adjacent to the venerable Municipal Auditorium.  Here’s the lineup:

Saturday, June 6
11:00 am to 12:15 pm      Bruce Daigrepont
12:45 pm to 2:00 pm        Mary Broussard & Sweet La La
2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.      Corey Ledet & His Zydeco Band
4:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.      Lost Bayou Ramblers
5:45 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.      Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas

Sunday, June 7
11:00 am to 12:15 pm     Ruben Moreno & Zydeco Re-Evolution
12:45 pm to 2:00 pm       Bonsoir Catin
2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.     Roddie Romero & the Hub City Allstars
4:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.     Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers
5:45 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.     Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience

And there will be food, drinks and crafts!  WWOZ-FM will be broadcasting Sunday’s bands from 11am to 7pm, so listen in if you can’t make it.

The New York Times has a recent article about several things, but it’s mostly about how important Amédé Ardoin remains decades after his death.  Ardoin was one of the critical figures in Cajun, Creole and zydeco music.  His wrote a huge number of songs still played at festivals and in dance halls.  A former Louisiana state poet laureate is heading up a fundraising drive to create a statue to Ardoin. The white poet turns out to be a cousin to octogenarian Creole Goldman Thibodeaux, one of the last surviving Creole musicians.  According to the article, when he was eight, he heard Ardoin play.  The article meanders around, covering these topics, and it’s worth reading.

Nick Spitzer’s excellent radio program American Routes is covering Lafayette’s fantastic Festival International the week of April 8-14, 2015.  Exact air date will vary depending on your local public radio station.  There will be lots of live performances you won’t hear elsewhere from Jeffrey Broussard, Les Traiteurs, Michael Doucet and Chris Stafford, Balfa Toujours, Jesse Lege and Joel Savoy, Corey Ledet and Cedric Watson, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, Belton Richard, Yvette Landry, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, and Roddie Romero.  Two hours of great music!  Do yourself a favor and listen.

Nick Spitzer will talk to Cajun poet and musician Zachary Richard and to Richard Thompson on his radio show American Routes this week.  That’s two hours of mostly music with some talk.


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