Florida Cajun Zydeco Update! Newsletter

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Welcome to ISSUE #40 of
FloridaCajunZydeco.com Update!

This newsletter showcases dance events from the FloridaCajunZydeco.com website and publishes articles not on the website pages. The feature story this month is Spotlight on: Jeffery Broussard and the Creole Cowboys

On the first and third Tuesdays, you can find us dancing at the Cajun-Zydeco Dance at EDGE OF 9 to some of the best Cajun and zydeco tunes DJ Jim has been able to uncover. Check out the write-up below and make a plan to join us.

We’re happy to say there will be three opportunities to dance to Jeffery Broussard and the Creole Cowboys in Florida. Don’t miss this great opportunity to dance to one of Louisiana’s finest bands, coming to us directly from Gator By The Bay in San Diego over Mother’s Day weekend.
Thu. May 12 — WSLR Fogartyville, Sarasota
Fri. May 13 — Art Garage, Delray Beach
Sat. May 14 — Edge of 9, St. Pete
For more information on Jeffery Broussard, read the feature story that follows.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Donna Angelle and her Zydeco Posse for their stellar performance at Edge of 9 on April 16th. We had a good turnout of happy dancers. It was great to hear and dance to the R&B styled zydeco of Donna in Florida again.

Also, we're on Facebook in Groups (Florida Cajun Zydeco Dancers) and with our own Facebook Page (Florida Cajun Zydeco). Check us out and "Like" us to see the posts and reminders throughout the week. This is a good way to get your Cajun and zydeco fix between newsletters.

FloridaCajunZydeco.com loves to travel and fits neatly in your pocket on your smart phone. Check the website for dance information wherever you may travel.

Regards, Jim Hance
Publisher, FloridaCajunZydeco.com


Friday, April 29 --- “Dance For Plants” Swing & Zydeco Dance at Gulfport Casino (Gulfport, FL)

To Benefit the Gulfport Community Garden
7 p.m. Zydeco Dance Lessons with Sharon Stern
8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Swing and Zydeco with DJ Jim Hance

Gulfport Casino Ballroom, 5500 Shore Blvd S, Gulfport, Florida 33707

Support the community garden by buying raffle tickets. Raffle tickets will allow you to be entered to win prizes you select! Maureen Kilroy and Larry Enlow of Gulfport Ramblers plan to perform outside the entrance welcoming folks to the dance! Admission: $12 at the door

We’re dancing to ALL KINDS OF SWING and some zydeco too. A sign at the DJ booth will tell you what kind of dance the next song will go with — that way you can line up your dance partner for the next song!

We will have fast swing (east coast and boogie woogie), medium tempo swing (shag, Lindy), slow swing (west coast and cha-cha), super fast swing (balboa), and some disco, nightclub two step, foxtrot and waltz too. Even some “swango” for folks who like to mix up their tango and swing. And some great zydeco tunes that you can swing dance to as well.

Music will be contemporary pop, Latin, blues, big band, jazz, funk, soul, oldies, R&B, country and Louisiana-style. This is a music mix you won’t hear anywhere else! It is all pretty high energy to keep the dance floor filled.

There is a Facebook event page for “Dance for Plants” at https://www.facebook.com/events/1658994531041142/


Spotlight on:
Jeffery Broussard
& The Creole Cowboys

It’s a family trade and there are few families more closely associated with zydeco than the Broussards. Jeffery Broussard (born March 10, 1967) was just 8 years old when he debuted on drums in his father’s band, Delton Broussard and the Lawtell Playboys. In the decades since, Jeffery Broussard has been a torchbearer for zydeco, influencing young musicians with a traditional Creole music he learned decades ago.

“Back when I was growing up, that’s how it was,” Jeffery Broussard said. “There were a bunch of family bands that would play at different venues. It’s not like that today. A lot of the musicians back home came from the same background as myself. Their daddies played and they wanted to do the same.”

For the Broussards, music came easy, but not much else did. The youngest of 11 children, Jeffery Broussard dropped out of school in seventh grade to help work with his father, who sharecropped land in Frilot Cove, Louisiana. It was a lifestyle that was common among some of the top zydeco musicians of the era. “A lot of the older guys were sharecroppers,” Broussard said. “They had pigs or chickens, all different kinds of farm work. When they’d get off work, they would sit on their porch and play their accordions.”

The son of esteemed accordionist Delton Broussard, young Jeffery began his musical journey at the age of 8, on the drums in his father’s legendary band, the Lawtell Playboys. During this time, Jeffery was exposed to some of the great Creole fiddle players, including the king of the zydeco fiddle, Calvin Carrere. He has retained those precious melodies and songs he heard at home, playing them at social gatherings and on the bandstand.


"How Did You Learn That?"

And while Broussard was already a drummer, he longed to play the accordion, zydeco’s signature instrument. So when he could, Jeffery would sneak into the closet and grab his father’s accordion, becoming fairly proficient before too long. The elder Broussard knew someone had been digging in his accordion case, but with 11 children, it was tough to nail down a prime suspect. It was only when Jeffery finally debuted a song that his father finally put the pieces together.

“How did you learn that?” Broussard remembers his father asking. “I just started laughing,” Broussard said. “He could really tell someone was playing because they wouldn’t put it away the same way.”

At the Forefront of Nouveau Zydeco

Jeffery Broussard and Robbie "Mann" Robinson founded Zydeco Force in the late 1980s, a band that became an icon on the zydeco scene at the forefront of the nouveau zydeco movement. The group was featured regularly on the TV show, “Zydeco Extravaganza”, and was a top draw at clubs and trail rides. The band provided a template for a new generation of artists, and Broussard said a number of the group’s songs have been covered by other artists. “We were one of the first [zydeco] bands to have a big group of people singing harmonies,” he said. “A lot of the young bands, they copy a lot of stuff from Zydeco Force.”

But Broussard has come full circle in his career. He grew up in traditional zydeco, brought in a new sound in the '80s and has now returned to his roots. And he’s not a fan of the recent influence of hip-hop on zydeco. “There are only a few people playing the traditional stuff,” he said.

Reviving Traditional Zydeco

"I like all the guys playing zydeco today and I respect them, but what they're playing isn't the zydeco I grew up with. If we keep changing it, we're going to lose it."

With the Creole Cowboys, Broussard has reverted to traditional Creole music with French lyrics, continuing a career in which he has tried to honor his family and the music’s history.

“One of the main reasons why I wanted my own band was to play traditional music. I love my music and I love my culture. I am proud and honored to be a part of it. By playing traditional music, that is my way of giving back to my community, to my culture, and to get others interested in the music, in other parts of the country, and to fulfill my daddy’s dream.
I do it to keep our traditions going because the music being played today is not traditional music. I want to continue doing what I’m doing because really there are not very many traditional musicians left. I am the only one besides Geno Delafose who is playing traditional zydeco music. There are only five Creole fiddlers left. That’s what gave me the interest to pick up the fiddle and start playing, because I felt that it was needed.”

Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys deliver great, pack-the-floor renditions of Creole classics. Early Creole music, as played by legends Canray Fontenot on fiddle and Jeffery’s father, Delton Broussard on accordion, is experiencing a well-deserved resurgence of interest in Louisiana and the world today. Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys create incredible music and outstanding performances, cultivating and inspiring new generations of Creole Zydeco fans.

Fuselier's 'King of Zydeco'

Columnist for the Lafayette “Advertiser” and weekly host of the KRVS radio program “Zydeco Stomp”, Herman Fuselier has reviewed Cajun and zydeco music for years. In 2008, Herman wrote, “If the crown [for King of Zydeco] was resurrected, my top candidate would be Jeffery Broussard. My idea of king is not the guy with the hottest band, most popular song or most women around the bandstand. I think of a musician who can command the accordion like no other. That's easily Jeffery Broussard, who is pound for pound, the best zydeco accordion player around. If you don't believe me, believe Boozoo, who most young players imitate today. Years ago, I asked Chavis who he thought was the best player. His first answer was Jeffery Broussard. Some of the top band leaders today — J. Paul Jr., Leon Chavis, Guyland Leday, Step Rideau and Lil Pookie — all took lessons from Broussard.”

Many Awards

Jeffery’s wife Millie says, ”Over the years Jeffery has mastered the accordion as well as the fiddle and many other instruments. He has won many awards throughout the years, and most recently in July 2014 he was inducted into Louisiana Folk life Center Hall of Master Folk Artists, and in December 2015 he received the Zydeco Blues Trailride Centurion Award."

The Reviews

“Jeffery Broussard may have once spearheaded the most influential band of modern zydeco with Zydeco Force, but these days he‘s on a different mission: to present the Creole cultural music prior to its adulteration of floor-rattling, urbanized sounds.  Granted, Broussard operates within a traditional framework, but he does so with uncanny ingenuity.”
— Dan Willging, “Offbeat”

“Jeffery Broussard certainly, at this point in time — the dean of the zydeco accordion. I don‘t think there‘s anyone out there who can touch him on the accordion. Jeffery Broussard is the king.”
— Peter Rost, Host of “Pine Grove Blues”

“Mr. Broussard and his Cowboys are fabulous: You start moving in your seat as soon as their rhythmic, rich melodies, both joyous and mournful, flood the theater.”
— “New York Times”

"Jeffery Broussard has long been respected as one of the greatest accordion players to ever grace our beautiful Creole culture and for that matter the world."
— Don Cravins, Sr., Mayor of Opelousas, LA (Zydeco Capital of the World)

Jeffery Broussard Recordings

Shaggy Dog Two-Step (Zydeco Force, 1992)

The Zydeco Push (Zydeco Force, 1994)

“It’s La La Time” (Zydeco Force with Joe KK, 1995)

We’re Back (Zydeco Force, 2000)

You Mean The World To Me (Zydeco Force, 2001)

Rock Awhile! Z-Force Style (Zydeco Force, 2003)

Louisiana Chicken Shack (Zydeco Force with Lil Guyland, 2005)

Keeping The Tradition Alive (Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys, 2007)

Return of the Creole (Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys, 2011)


Jeffery Broussard in Florida

Thursday, May 12 — 8 p.m. at WSLR’s Fogartyville, 525 Kumquat Ct, Sarasota, FL 34236. Office: 941-894-6469. Tickets: https://squareup.com/store/wslr-inc

Friday, May 13 — 8 p.m. at Arts Garage, 180 NE First Street, Delray Beach, FL 33444. Tickets: http://artsgarage.org/Home/show-schedule

Saturday, May 14 — 8 p.m. at Edge of 9, 900 Central Avenue #25B, St. Pete 33705. Tickets: $20 cash admission at door

Cajun-Zydeco Dance every first and third Tuesday in St. Petersburg

May 3 & May 17 --- First and Third Tuesday Cajun-Zydeco Dance (St. Petersburg)

6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Edge of 9, 900 Central Avenue #25B, St. Pete 33705. We meet to dance here on the FIRST AND THIRD TUESDAYS each month. The music will be played softly from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. for socializing and dance lesson. The music goes up at 7 p.m. No cover charge, parking lot, free parking in lot, and painted cement dance floor which works fine for Cajun and zydeco dancing. No smoking venue. Hungry? You're welcome to bring food in from a sandwich shop or restaurants. Check out the venue at facebook.com/edgeof9.  Questions and requests: Jim Hance, (813) 465-8165, j-hance@wowpromotions.com.

NOTE: On May 3, Rays Baseball at Tropicana Field at 7:10 p.m. vs. Los Angeles Dodgers will cause a bit of traffic in the area. We expect the vacant lot west of the Edge of 9 to be available for free parking, as it was for our last dance at Edge of 9 when there was a ballgame. There are no “No Parking” signs posted with the name of owner or towing company, so your car can’t legally be towed. I will be parking there to leave an extra space in the paved parking lot. Anyone parking in the Edge of 9 parking lot but walking in the direction of the ballpark will have their vehicle towed. The building owner watches the lot from the second floor.

Easy Street Duo with Mary Morella

Sat. May 7 -- Porchdogs at Saturday Morning Market (St. Pete)

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Porchdogs at Saturday Morning Market, 1st Ave. S. and 1st St., Downtown St. Petersburg. (GPS Location: 230 First St SE, St. Petersburg.) Excellent Cajun and Zydeco tunes. Dancers come on down! It's free! (727) 455-4921. Jerry Carrier says: "Let’s support Cajun and Zydeco music at the Saturday Morning Market!"`

May 28 & 29 -- Porchdogs at Johnny Longboat's (Riviera Beach)

5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Johnny Longboat's Restaurant, 2401 North Ocean Drive, Riviera Beach, FL 33404 (Singer Island)


Thu. May 12 -- Donna The Buffalo (Stuart, FL)

Terra Fermata, 26 SE 6th Street, Stuart, FL 34994. Website: http://www.terrafermata.com

Fri. May 13 -- Donna The Buffalo (St. Pete)

Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N., St. Petersburg. Info 727-565-0550. http://www.jannuslive.com

Sat. May 14 -- Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys
(St. Pete)

Saturday, May 14 — 8 p.m. at Edge of 9, 900 Central Avenue #25B, St. Pete 33705. Tickets: $20 cash admission at door

See "Spotlight on Jeffery Broussard" above for shows in Sarasota and Delray Beach.


Sat. May 14 -- Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe
(Ft. Walton Beach)

Helen Back Cafe, 114 Amberjack Dr, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548. (850) 796-1451. Website.

Dikki Du (Troy Carrier) was born in 1969 in Church Point, Louisiana and discovered his love for zydeco music at the tender age of nine. After school he would get together with his brother Chubby, sister Elaine and father Roy to play Zydeco music. At the age of twelve Troy moved to Lawtell, Louisiana, where his father had owned the Offshore Lounge for over fifteen years. Troy played the washboard for his father, and then joined the C.J. Chenier band for two years. Troy then played drums in his brother Chubby Carrier’s band. Troy toured with his brother for a few years and then decided to pick up the accordion. It has now been twelve years that Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe have been on the scene.

Dikki Du plays original funky and hypnotic zydeco with a lot of energy. "Personally the triple row is the sound that I like the best". says Troy. He takes songs from classic zydeco and turns the inside out with fresh and funky renditions driving it to the next level.

According to one of their fans, “Dikki and the Krewe stretch out songs, and [the band] is great to dance to as well as to listen to. Hard driving and relentless is the theme all night. It's just funky as can be. Nice polyrhythmic grooves going around the stage, and on the dance floor. Dikki Du and his krewe come out "smokin" harder and faster in the second set.  The band is one of the best, all stars in their own right!”


Sun. May 15 -- Gumbo Boogie (Bradenton)

5-9 p.m. Gumbo Boogie Band at Ace's Live, 4343 Palma Sola Blvd., Bradenton, FL (941) 795-3886  No Cover!



It’s the start of festival season. Here is an incomplete list of festival events listed in more detail on the Festivals page at www.floridacajunzydeco.com:

April 29-May 1 --- PENSACOLA CRAWFISH FESTIVAL (Pensacola, FL)
Bands include Pine Leaf Boys, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Roddie Romero and the Hub City All-Stars, Feufollet, and Voodoo Gumbo. Website: http://www.fiestaoffiveflags.org/

April 30 --- WMNF'S TROPICAL HEATWAVE (Ybor City / Tampa)
Since 1982, Tropical Heatwave has been a rite of spring for fans of eclectic music. Once just a Cuban Club event, Tropical Heatwave now spreads all over Ybor City (Tampa), presenting an incredible lineup of diverse entertainment with more than 60 bands on multiple stages. https://www.wmnf.org/wmnf-events/

San Diego’s 15th annual Gator By The Bay is the largest, most authentic Louisiana-themed music and food festival this side of the bayou. The festival is at Spanish Landing Park, across from the airport, and features four days of live music with over 90 musical acts on seven stages, and 10,000 lbs. of crawfish trucked in from Louisiana. Its unique location on the waterfront in San Diego makes it a one-of-a-kind festival of Louisiana music and culture.

“As dancers we appreciate some elements that others may overlook.  We love big dance floors. We appreciate a shaded space to dance. We love danceable music. And we love to introduce others to the music we love.”

Bands this year include: CJ Chenier and The Red Hot Louisiana Band, Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble, Bonsoir Catin, Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys, Roy Rogers, John Nemeth, Curtis Salgado Blues Band, Billy Waton & International Silver String Submarine Band, Sue Palmer and Her Motel Swing Orchestra, Bill Magee Blues Band, Robin Henkel, Motordude Zydeco, Joe Sans Fontenot Cajun Creole Band, Bayou Brothers, Billy Lee and Swamp Critters, San Diego Cajun Playboys, Theo & Zhdeco Patrol, and many more. The event draws 20,000 each year, and offers the dancer five music stages from which to choose, with two main stages offering 3,000 sq. ft. tented dance floors at each. The event is situated on mile-long Spanish Landing Park on San Diego Bay directly across the street from San Diego Lindbergh International Airport. The weather in San Diego is particularly nice in May with temps at the bay around 75 degrees, but bring a jacket because when the sun goes down it gets a bit chilly. This is a four-day event which kicks off on Thursday May 5 and concludes on Mother’s Day, May 8.  Website: www.gatorbythebay.com.

May 6-8 --- BREAUX BRIDGE CRAWFISH FESTIVAL (Breaux Bridge, Lousiana)
Bands include: Foret Tradition, Richard LeBeouf, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, Lee Beniot, Forest Huval, Corey Ledet, Pine Leaf Boys, Roddie Romero & the Hub City All-stars, Paul Daigle & Cajun Gold, Brazos Huval School of Music Students, Cajun Stompers Band, Jambalaya with special guest D.L. Menard, Nathan Williams & the Zydeco Cha Chas, Wayne Toups & Zydecajun, Travis Matte & the Kingpins, Basin Brothers Reunion, Lil Nate & the Zydeco Big Timers, Kira Viator & Bayou Beat, High Performance, Jamie Bergeron and the Kickin Cajuns, Huval Family Band, T Monde, Geno Delafose & French Rockin Boogie, Nik-L-Beer, Wayne & Same Ole Two Step, Terry & the Zydeco Bad Boys, Keith Frank & the Soileau Zydeco Family Band Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival, Parc Hardy, Breaux Bridge, LA. The Crawfish Festival has also become one of the largest gatherings of world famous Cajun musicians. All weekend long you can hear the sound of authentic Cajun, zydeco and swamp pop music rising from the festival. Whether your musical taste is Cajun or Creole, you can witness over 30 bands perform over the three day event if you think you have the stamina. It's a perfect opportunity to see our musical tradition passed from generation to generation. Watch the Cajun dance contests, and if you're brave, join in. There's no better way to learn. There are even Cajun music workshops held in the heritage tent. Website: http://bbcrawfest.com/

May 18-30 --- ORLANDO FRINGE FESTIVAL (Orlando)
Not a Cajun-Zydeco festival, the Orlando Fringe is the longest running Fringe Festival in the United States celebrating 24 years as “Orlando’s most unique cultural experience”. The history of Fringe Festivals began in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1947. There, a number of performing artists who were not official participants of the Edinburgh International Festival (whose participants are invited by its general director) decided to produce their own work in empty stores and church basements. Thus, their work was staged literally “on the fringe” of the established festival. The concept was an immediate success and the Fringe soon became more popular than the “official” Edinburgh Festival.  The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as of 2012, is the largest festival in the world and Europe’s #1 tourist destination!  Website: http://orlandofringe.org/
Sat. May 21 — (3 p.m. to 11 p.m.) Swamp Sistas La La at Loch Haven Park in Orlando, Florida. We will raise our voices in song and celebration for a free, day long music festival. In the weeks prior, we are raising money with our online campaign La La Summer Hope to help  2nd Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida feed kids who badly need it this summer. Swamp Sistas is a diverse community of over 2,500 women established in 2010 by singer/songwriter Beth McKee. We embrace our roots while marching to our own drum beat, and we throw giant parties called Swamp Sistas La Las, inspired by the Creole traditional soiree’ where musicians gather, friends dance and everybody gives what they can for a common cause. Website: http://swampsistas.com/

Bands this year include Cajun and zydeco artists Chubby Carrier and The Bayou Swamp Band, Doug Kershaw with Steve Riley, Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, Jo-el Sonnier, Bayou Brothers featuring Sista Judy on Rubboards, Mark St. Mary, Bonne Musique Zydeco, and blues bands Booker T., Eric Burdon and The Animals, Leon Russell, (the great) Barbara Morrison, Alvon Johnson, Guy Martin, Rebirth Brass Band, Reverend Tall Tree and Kelly’s Lot.  Website http://www.simicajun.org

Bands include Marcia Ball, Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas, The Revelers, David Greely Trio, Amanda Shaw, Mike Zito and the Wheel, King James and the Special Men, George Porter Jr., Samantha Fish, Funky Meters. Website: http://www.crawfishfest.com/

Bands this year include Geno Delafose & French Rockin Boogie, Pine Leaf Boys, Wayne Singleton’s Same Ol Two Step, Jesse Lege and the Bayou Brew, Savoy Doucet Dance Band, Steve Riley and The Mamou Playboys, Jeffery Broussard & the Creole Cowboys, Jimmy Jo and The Jumbol’Ayuhs, Magnolia Cajun Band, Roddie Romero and The Hub City Allstars, and K Jones and the Benzie Playboys. Website: http://eliteresorts.com/destinations/connecticut/strawberry-park/music-festivals/19th-annual-cajun-zydeco-festival-2015/

Visit Festival-O-Rama at http://www.floridacajunzydeco.com/festivals.html when planning your vacations which include Cajun and Zydeco music festivals.


Atlanta Cajun Zydeco Association

Saturday, May 21 --- Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble
at Benson Center, 6500 Vernon Woods Drive, Sandy Springs, GA 30328; Phone: 404-613-4900. Free beginners dance lesson 7-8 p.m. Free intermediate dance lesson 6:15 p.m. to 7 p.m. Dance to live music 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

June  11 --- Carolina Gator Gumbo
July  9  --- Terry & the Zydeco Bad Boys
August  6 --- T'Canaille
September  10 --- TBA
October  1 --- Zydeco T
October  29 --- Roux du Bayou
December 3 --- Jambalaya Cajun Band

The Atlanta Cajun Zydeco Association (ACZA) would like to remind dancers traveling to Atlanta that there is information about a hotel discount for out-of-town dancers on their website (http://aczadance.org/). “It’s the hotel where the bands stay when they play for us.”


Still Free…

and worth every penny! I hope you have enjoyed this issue of FloridaCajunZydeco Update!

Please forward to friends who are interested in Cajun and zydeco music and dancing…or just reading about it!

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Regards, Jim Hance