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Let's Go Dancing!

Just a friendly reminder to check www.FloridaCajunZydeco.com for information on dance opportunities in Florida, as well as festivals throughout the United States. 

There is a lot of information on the home page --- such as "How-To Video" on the basic zydeco steps, "Festival-O-Rama", and Recent Dance Videos. Also, recently added, "Cajun-Zydeco on the Radio", featuring links to more than a dozen Cajun and zydeco music radio programs. 

And that's just the home page. Check out the other content as well. It's a work in progress, so there's usually something new to discover.

Yes, you've just arrived in dance heaven! Welcome!

Here are some examples of dance events you won't want to miss.

Regards, Jim Hance

Tuesday, May 27 at Twisted Martini, Clearwater

Twisted Martini

Don’t forget, tomorrow --- Tuesday, May 27 --- Zydeco dance with Sharon Stern and Dwight Dupree at the Twisted Martini, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., 13563 Icot Blvd., Clearwater, FL 33760. (727) 754-9800.  Allons Danser is hosting a free cajun/zydeco CD party at the Twisted Martini in Clearwater from 5:30-8:30.  Come early for happy hour specials and dance to your favorite tunes.  We will be using the room off to your left as you enter the building. It is in the Icot Center off of Ulmerton Road. There is NO COVER CHARGE, but please consider buying a drink and appetizers or dinner. Entrees are reasonably priced, and delicious! Please contact Sharon Stern at 727-648-7858 for more information or questions. Twisted Martini Website.

Sunday, June 8 at Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa

Zydeco Dance at Skipper's in Tampa

Dance to Gumbo Boogie with NEW Cajun-Zydeco Dance Mix at the Band Breaks by Jim Hance and after 9 p.m. (Tampa)
Sunday, June 8, 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.? --- I’ve got a new mix of music to keep you on the dance floor this Sunday. Dance to Gumbo Boogie Band and keep goin’ at the breaks. The music will continue after 9 p.m. as long as we have dancers. Skipper’s Smokehouse is at 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. Skipper's Website.

Cajun-Zydeco Festivals

Cajun-Zydeco Festivals

May 30, 31, June 1, 2014 --- Michael Arnone’s Crawfish Festival in Augusta, NJ
(Sussex County Fairgrounds). What started as a small crawfish boil for 70 people homesick for boiled crawfish in 1989, has turned into Michael Arnone’s 25th Annual Crawfish Fest. Featuring the best Music and Food that Louisiana and New Orleans has to offer. Cajun, Zydeco, Delta Blues, New Orleans R&B, Brass, Gospel and Jazz on 4 Stages. Bands: Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble, Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys, Ray Abshire Cajun Band, The Crawdaddies, Earphunk, Marcia Ball, Terrance Simien and The Zydeco Experience, Dumpstaphunk, The Fkunky Meters, JJ Grey and Mofro, Raw Oyster Cult, The Royal Southern Brotherhood, Kermit Ruffins, Walter Wolfman Washington and the Roadmasters. Tickets at the gate $35 and $60; as well as 3-day camping packages @ $145. Website

June 5-8, 2014 --- Blast From The Bayou Cajun-Zydeco Festival at Strawberry Park
Preston, Connecticut. Bands: Planet Zydeco, Jimmy Jo & The Jumbol Ayuhs, Slippery Sneakers, Bonsoir Catin, Lil Wayne and Same Ol Two Step, The Revelers, Dennis Stroughmatt Creole Stomp, Pine Leaf Boys, Jeffery Broussard and the Creole Cowboys, Cest Bon, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys. Zydeco, Mamou 2-step and jitterbug dance lessons. Festival day passes $40-60 for adults, $120 for 4-day pass. For 2014, there is plenty of free camping for those with weekend passes, as well as some sites with water, electric, cable (and septic, if needed). Our rental units, including cabins, Park Models and RV rentals, fill quickly, but there are numerous hotels and B&Bs in the area. Day tickets and weekend passes also available by calling 860-886-1944. Website.

June 14–15, 2014 --- 2014 Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival in New Orleans, LA

11:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. both days at Louis Armstrong Park, 901 N. Rampart Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70116
Admission: Free

Sat June 14
11:00 am to 12:15 pm Sean Ardoin & Zydekool
12:45 pm to 1:45 pm Les Freres Michot
2:15 pm to 3:15 pm Jeffery Broussard
3:45 pm to 4:45 pm Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers
5:00 pm to 6:15 pm Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie
6:45 pm to 8:00 pm Buckwheat Zydeco
Sunday, June 15
11:00 am to 12:15 pm Bruce Daigrepont
12:45 pm to 1:45 pm Sunpie & the La. Sunspots
2:15 pm to 3:15 pm Sweet Crude
3:45 pm to 4:45 pm Lost Bayou Ramblers
5:15 pm to 6:15 pm Beausoleil avec Michael Doucet with special guest Jo-El Sonnier
6:45 pm to 8:00 pm Rosie Ledet


June 21-22, 2014 --- 28th Annual Long Beach Bayou Zydeco, Blues, Creole & Cajun Festival in Long Beach, CA
In its 28th year, The Long Beach Bayou and Blues Festival offers patrons a weekend filled with cultural music, cuisine, and dance from a place called ‘home’-- New Orleans and the Louisiana Bayou Country. We are excited to share the best parts of Louisiana Bayou and New Orleans Culture with Long Beach. We invite you to delight in the specialties of Cajun and Creole cuisine and savor the many delicacies and flavors of the Big Easy. Rich in cultural music traditions, the Long Beach Bayou and Blues Festival presents a wide range of groups, featuring Cajun, Zydeco and Blues artists.  Band include: Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys, Sunpie and The Louisiana Sunspots, Theo & The Zydeco Patrol, CFMA-winners San Diego Cajun Playboys, Mark St. Mary Blues and Zydeco Band, Bonne Musique Zydeco, Creole Belles, T-Lou and His Super Hot Zydeco Band, Al Williams and lBarbara Morrison, and Delta Groove All Stars. Tickets $20-30 per day. Tickets and info on Long Beach Bayou Festival Website.

July 2-5, 2014 --- Celebrate Waupun Louisiana Stage in Waupun, Wisconsin
Bands include Dennis Stroughmatt & Creole Stomp, Dog Hill Stompers, Feufollet, Leroy Thomas and Zydeco Roadrunners, Cajun Strangers, and K. Jones and Benzie Playboys. (If you’re interested in Cajun and zydeco music in Wisconsin area, this event replaces the Oshkosh Sawdust Festival.)  Information at this link.

July 3-6 2014 --- Portland’s Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland, Oregon
Bands include Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas, John Nemeth and the Bokeys, Maceo Parker, Gregg Allman, Los Lobos, Boz Scaggs, Lee Fields and the Expressions, Los Lonely Boys, Blind Boy Paxton, Homemade Jamz, Lil Ed and the Blues Imperials, The Soul of John Black. Website.

July 6-11, 2014 --- Cajun-Creole Week at Augusta Heritage Center, West Virginia
“It’s a great way to get out of the heat and head for some of the most scenic mountains in the East. Over the years a lot of Floridians have attended.” Music and cooking workshops and dancing. See American Heritage Center YouTube Channel.  Video capture some of the fun: dancing, playing, singing, cooking, learning, and growing at Augusta. Music workshops are for designated levels of experience: Novice or “From Scratch” (never used the instrument before), Beginner, Advanced Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Informal jam sessions, a mid-week party with Cajun cuisine, concerts, sessions in the Icehouse and on the “porch,” and music in the dancers’ ears will create a sea of smiling faces for the whole week. Each day starts with a choice of jam sessions or a visit with various artists; a cup of good strong Cajun coffee is always available. All classes meet for about two hours in the morning and again in the afternoon. Each afternoon the entire group gathers for special presentations on Cajun and Creole music or culture. With mini-courses, a concert, dances, and a mid-week party featuring Cajun gumbo, it’s a gala week of nonstop music and dancing. Cajun/Creole Week runs concurrently with the new Early Country Music Week. Courses on accordion with Jason, Frey, Edward Poullard, Sheryl Cormier, Blake Miller, and Preston Frank. Other courses on fiddle, bass, vocals and Cajun cooking.  Classes (except Novice or /From Scratch Classes) are intended for those who can already play their instrument to some extent and are ready to start learning Cajun/Creole style, technique, and repertoire. Cost for week is $450, housing is additional.  Link to Cajun-Creole Week. Info: 800-624-3157, ext. 1209, or 304-637-1209 (email: matthew@AugustaHeritageCenter.org).

Spotlight on Jeffery Broussard

Spotlight on Jeffery Broussard

One of the most influential accordionists and vocalists in modern Zydeco music, Jeffery Broussard continues to be one of the genre’s most dynamic performers. He has continually been an innovator, beginning his career with traditional Creole Zydeco music playing drums in his father’s band, Delton Broussard & The Lawtell Playboys, then moving on to develop the nouveau Zydeco sound in Zydeco Force, now returning to the more traditional Zydeco sound with his own band, Jeffery Broussard and The Creole Cowboys.

“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.”

Originally called Creole music, French music, or la-la music, Zydeco’s musical roots go back to European, African, and Caribbean musical traditions, with syncopated rhythms. Jeffery Broussard’s path to becoming one of the most influential accordionists and vocalists in modern Zydeco music is rich in tradition, struggle, and hard times.

During his teen years, Jeffery played drums in his oldest brother Clinton’s band, Clinton Broussard & The Zydeco Machines. Clinton plays the old Clifton Chenier-style triple-note accordion. It was in this band that Jeffery played the accordion in public for the first time. His brother would let him play a few songs from time to time, but Jeffery was too shy to speak on stage, let alone sing. It wasn’t until he joined the band Zydeco Force that he began singing.

He has range seldom heard in Zydeco from traditional songs from the old masters to originals, singlenote and triple-note accordion to fiddle.

“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,” said Don Cravins, Sr., Mayor of Opelousas, LA.

“Jeffery Broussard and the Creole Cowboys, for my money --- they are the best traditionally oriented Zydeco band out there today. They are the best old-school players --- it’s the Creole Cowboys, bar none,” says Peter Rost, host of Pine Grove Blues at University of Hartford Community Radio.

When I think “zydeco,” Jeffery Broussard is one of the first names that comes to mind. You can catch Jeffery Broussard and The Creole Cowboys at Michael Arnone’s Crawfish Festival in Augusta, NJ,  Blast from the Bayou Cajun-Zydeco Festival at Strawberry Park in Connecticut, Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival in New Orleans, LA., and Long Beach Bayou Zydeco, Blues, Creole & Cajun Festival in Long Beach, CA.

Jerry Carrier's CZ Newsletter

Jerry Carrier sends out an email newsletter every week or two during the festival season with new event information. You can subscribe to CZ Newsletter by emailing him a request to be added to his mailing list: jerry.carrier@verizon.net.