The 30th annual Zydeco Extravaganza takes place this Sunday, May 29, 2016.  It’s still indoors, at the Blackham Coliseum in Lafayette, LA, starting at noon and running until it runs out!  Where else can you see Geno Delafose, Keith Frank, Chris Ardoin, J. Paul, Jr. and more on a single stage?  Purchase $20 tickets through the web site.

The mammoth New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival will go on April 22-24 and April 28 through May 1 at the Fairgrounds.  The “cubes” are out, showing who plays at which stage at what time.  As in past year, look for the lion’s share of zydeco, Louisiana Creole and Cajun acts at the Fais Do-Do stage.  The biggest acts occasionally appear on the Gentilly or Acura Stages, but those are the behemoths, like Buckwheat Zydeco (Friday, April 22, Acura Stage, 2:05-3:05pm).  Fais Do-Do is also the scene for larger, touring alt-country and folk acts, like the Black Lillies, and locals, like Gal Holiday.  The Allison Miner Music Heritage Stage is in the grandstand, has air conditioning, seats and decent toilets, definitely worth trying at least once.

Recommendations for zydeco, Louisiana Creole and Cajun music and interviews:

  • Goldman Thibodeaux The rural Creole “la-la” legacy of Amédé Ardoin Interviewer: Darrell Bourque, Friday, April 22, Allison Miner Music Heritage Stage, 1:30 – 2:15 pm
  • Belton Richard, Fais Do-Do, Saturday, April 23, 12:20-1:10pm (he never plays New Orleans–the big dancehall sound)
  • Belton Richard Cajun accordion and vocal legend, Interviewer: Barry Ancelet, Allison Miner Music Heritage Stage, Sunday, April 24, 4:00 – 4:45 pm ()
  • Savoy Family Band, Fais Do-Do, Thursday, April 28, 12:15-1:15pm (Marc Savoy is one of the best accordion players alive)
  • Lost Bayou Ramblers with Ricki Lee Jones and Spider Stacy (The Pogues), Gentilly Stage, Thursday, April 28, 1:45-3:10pm (an incredible matchup)
  • T’Monde, Lagniappe Stage, Thursday, April 28, 12:35 – 1:30 pm  (amazing trio with the old-time sound)
  • T’Monde Cajun tradition meets classic country harmony, Interviewer: Jim Hobbs, Allison Miner Music Heritage Stage, Thursday, April 28, 4:30-5:15 pm (yeah, that’s me)
  • C.J. Chenier and Todd Mouton Way Down in Louisiana Interviewer: Herman Fuselier, Allison Miner Music Heritage Stage, Friday, April 29, 4:00 – 4:45 pm
  • The Band Courtbouillon, Fais Do-Do, Sunday, May 1, 1:20-2:15 (Steve Riley, Wayne Toups and Wilson Savoy; Grammy winners)

The annual free French Quarter Festival will take place April 7-10, 2016.  Cajun and zydeco music will appear on the stage on N. Peters St. again, as in past year.  The lineup includes Bruce Daigrepont, T’Canaille, Grammy-nominated The Revelers, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, Granny-winner Chubby Carrier, Jo-el Sonnier, and Feufollet.

The French Quarter Festival is a huge, free music festival held in the French Quarter of New Orleans.  There is no admission fee, and music is played from twenty or more stages.  There is one Cajun and zydeco stage.  This year’s lineup of Cajun and zydeco artists is:

Thursday, April 7:  Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band, the Doghill Stompers, T’Canaille

Friday, April 8:  Babineaux Sisters Band, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, Leroy Thomas and the Zydeco Roadrunners, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, the Waylon Thibodeaux Band

Saturday, April 9:  Amy Nicole and Zydeco Soul, Donna Angelle and the Zydeco Posse, Feufollet, Jo-el Sonnier, Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots

Sunday, April 10:  Amanda Shaw (playing less Cajun these days), Buckwheat Zydeco, Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, Rockin’ Dopsie [Jr] and the Zydeco Twisters, Roddie Romero and the Hub-City Allstars, Sweet Cecilia (not traditional Cajun)

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!

Lafayettte’s Festival International has announced its music lineup.  Looks like there’s waaaaay more zydeco and Cajun than usual this year.  Acts include: Buckwheat Zydeco, Terrance Simien, Roddie Romero, Lil Nathan, Zachary Richard, Dwayne Dopsie, Bonsor, Catin, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Feufollet, Soul Creole, David Greely, Jambalaya Cajun Band, Jeffrey Broussard Family Band, Cedric Watson, Leroy Thomas, Corey Ledet, T-Monde, Couzans Cajun Band, and Zydeco Radio. The dates are April 22 through 26, 2015, so it’s exactly opposite the first weekend of Jazz Fest.  But the price is right, free!  Just make the trip to Lafayette and enjoy the shorter lines and many of the same acts Jazz Fest will have.  Come on down, cher, and enjoy you some music!

The list of artists playing at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival 2015 has been released.  Here’s the daily lineup for Cajun, Louisiana Creole and zydeco.  Only the date is set, not the stage or time.

Friday, April 24:  Wayne Toups, Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots, Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie, Lil, Nathan and the Zydeco Big Timers, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, The Revelers (swamp pop)

Saturday, April 25:  Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band, Goldman Thibodeaux & the Lawtell Playboys.  Cajun pedal steel guitarist Richard Comeaux (High Performance, etc.) and his band The River Rats are also playing; don’t know what kind of music they’ll play.

Sunday, April 26:  BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet 40th anniversary with special guests, C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band, Savoy Family Cajun Band, Jeffrey Broussard & the Creole Cowboys, Ray Abshire Cajun Band

Thursday, April 30:  Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys (some Cajun), Terrence Simien and the Zydeco Experience, Rosie Ledet & the Zydeco Playboys, Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole, Kevin Naquin & the Ossun Playboys, Joe Hall & the Louisiana Cane Cutters.  Also the Yvette Landry Band (bass player Bonsoir, Catin), though her solo work is more country than Cajun.  Sweet Cecilia is an offshoot of the late Al Berard’s daughter’s (Meghan) band.

Friday, May 1:  Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. & the Zydeco Twisters, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, Jambalaya Cajun Band with D. L. Menard, Leroy Thomas & the Zydeco Roadrunners

Saturday, May 2:  Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers, Roddie Romero & the Hub City Allstars, Corey Ledet & His Zydeco Band, Bonsoir, Catin

Sunday, May 3:  Buckwheat Zydeco, Pine Leaf Boys, FeuFollet, Keith Frank & the Soileau Zydeco Band, Brandon Moreau and Cajungrass

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