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Welcome to Cajun and Zydeco Dancing Throughout The State of Florida

This issue of Update features Cajun and Zydeco dance events in the Tampa Bay Area and Tallahassee, festivals in Louisiana, some great zydeco bands playing in Atlanta, a peek at the Suncoast Jazz Classic in November, and "Spotlight on Pine Leaf Boys", our featured band this issue. Remember, all of these event listings can be found at www.floridacajunzydeco.com. If you don't find an event listed, please let me know with an email to j-hance@wowpromotions.com so I can get it posted.

Gumbo Boogie in Bradenton Sept. 14

Gumbo Boogie Band

5-9 PM Gumbo Boogie at Ace's Lounge

4343 Palma Sola Blvd., Bradenton, FL (941) 795-3886
Enjoy  All-You-Can-Eat Buffet ($8.95) at 6 p.m. Last week's buffet was Penne Bolognese, Swai Florentine, Cheese Grits, Fresh Veggies,  Salad & Dressing, Turkey Noodle Soup, Fresh Rolls, Carrot Cake. New buffet every week. NOTE: All ACES music shows are now non-smoking. This and other Cajun and zydeco dance listings can be found at FloridaCajunZydeco.com.

Zydeco Dance at Vertigo Sept. 16

Club Vertigo

5:30-9:00 p.m. The next Allons Danser Tampa Bay dance party will be held at Vertigo on Tuesday, September 16th, 2014. The location is in Feather Sound at the old "Venue", upstairs from the Yard of Ale (http://www.vertigo-nightclub.com/).  Food and drink are available, and complimentary appetizers will be offered. Sharon has been in contact with management, and they are hoping to have their A/C issues fixed by then. Sharon will bring a fan, just in case. Thanks to all of the dancers who attended on August 26! We had a fantastic time. This and other Cajun and zydeco dance listings can be found at FloridaCajunZydeco.com.

Cajun-Zydeco Dance at Club MIXX, Downtown Clearwater Sept. 27

Club MIXX, downtown Clearwater

6:30-10 p.m. Zydeco dance lesson with Jerry Carrier, followed by DJ music by Jim Hance (he takes requests). Great mix of zydeco and Cajun tunes guaranteed to keep you moving on the dance floor. With your support, this will be a monthly dance. Thanks for the great group who came in August! Club Mixx, 528 Cleveland St, Clearwater, FL 33755. Phone (727) 462-9748. Website. Ya'll join us on Saturday, September 27. The restaurant will be serving some fine New Orleans cooking, too. This and other Cajun and zydeco dance listings can be found at FloridaCajunZydeco.com.

Halloween Bash in Tallahassee at BBC Features JB's Zydeco Zoo

JB's Zydeco Zoo

Friday, October 31, 9 p.m. “JB” John Babich is joined by band mates Missippy James on guitar and Jiggs Walker on bass, Martin Guilbeau on drums and Keith McCraw on rubboard to form JB’s Zydeco Zoo.  Their music is high energy, rockin’, rhythmic zydeco in the vein of Beau Jocque, Clifton Chenier, C.J. Chenier, Rockin' Dopsie and Buckwheat Zydeco.  “My love is ultra groovin' music that gives music lovers no chance but to dance,” says JB. Join them for a Halloween Bash at Bradfordville Blues Club in Tallahassee, site of the Mississippi to Florida Blues Trail Marker. Bradfordville Blues Club, 
7152 Moses Lane, 
Tallahassee FL 32309
. Phone (850) 906-0766. 
 Website. This and other Cajun and zydeco dance listings can be found at FloridaCajunZydeco.com.

Ballroom Fusion Dance Features Simone Amaral at Gulfport Casino 9/7

Gulfport Casino Dance Hall in Gulfport, Florida

Dance Lessons at 6 and 7 p.m. / Open Dancing 8 to 11 p.m.
Admission $7 includes group dance lessons

According to event promoter Sam, "Ballroom Fusion Night is social dancing 'outside the box', featuring lessons and music for up to 30 different partner dances!  We've modernized the ballroom-dance concept, expanding it to include all of today's most popular partner dances.  Most songs support multiple dances, and dancers choose what to dance based on their current skills and desires.  It's held the first Sunday of each month at the Gulfport Casino. The first three Ballroom Fusion nights each brought in over 200 dancers." Dance lesson at 6 p.m. will be Bachata, and 7 p.m. Bachata-Tango Fusion taught by Simone Amaral, owner of Simone Salsa Dance School in Tampa.  The Gulfport Casino Ballroom is one of the world's top dance destinations, offering social dance excitement in a picturesque beachfront setting.  It features a rich history, a grand dance floor, a full bar, a smoke-free atmosphere, and free parking. The Gulfport Casino Ballroom is located in the St. Petersburg, Florida area at 5500 Shore Blvd. S., Gulfport, FL 33707.

Suncoast Jazz Classic Features Tom Rigney

Tom Rigney

The 24th Annual Suncoast Jazz Classic held November 21-23, 2014 on Clearwater Beach is bringing back Tom Rigney and Flambeau from San Francisco. Tom Rigney is known for his lively Cajun and blues tunes performed superbly on the fiddle, and there will likely be several opportunities to dance to this band throughout the weekend. Last year, the event teamed up with Tampa Bay Lindy Exchange to offer three days of dancing to a variety of bands featured at the music event in ballrooms at two hotels, Sheraton Sand Key and Marriott Sand Key. The Suncoast Jazz Classic promotions committee will have the final band lineup later this month, and I will post the lineup in the next edition of this newsletter. Mark your calendars for the Suncoast Jazz Classic November 21-23 featuring Tom Rigney and many other great dance bands. Event Website


Cajun and Zydeco is Alive and Well in Atlanta, Georgia

Beau Jocque and Boozoo Chavis duel it out for "Zydeco Kingdom"

Who's Was Crowned "King of Zydeco" in 1994? See video description below on Beau Jocque and Boozoo Chavis.

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. “It’s the hotel where the bands stay when they play for us.”

ACZA will be hosting the following bands over the next several months:
September 13 — Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble
October  4  — Jeffery Broussard & the Creole Cowboys
October  25  — T Broussard & the Zydeco Steppers
November  22  —  Hair of the Dog
December  6  —T'Canille
January  10 — Zydeco TBA
February  7 — Dennis Stroughmatt & Creole Stomp
March  7 —  Zydeco TBA
March  28 — Roux du Bayou

Recommended Videos
ACZA website editor recommends the following Cajun-Zydeco videos, which have been added to FloridaCajunZydeco.com "Recent Dance Video" on the FloridaCajunZydeco.com home page.

Kingdom of Zydeco: "Beau Jocque is my favorite Zydeco player. Ever since I became involved in Zydeco I have wanted to see a Robert Mugge movie entitled Kingdom of Zydeco starring Beau Jocque and Boozo Chavis. It is on the web for a limited time. It also has Richard of Richard's club, El Sido of El Sido, Nathan Williams, John Delafose, as well as personal interviews. I have thoroughly enjoyed it." Video Link

Jeffery Broussard Promo: "I came across this video that promotes Jeffrey Broussard, but also involves Buckwheat Zydeco, Steve Riley, Terrence Simeon. It is a good introduction for those who know no zydeco. If interested, please visit Jeffrey Broussard." Video Link

The Hidden World of Ann Savoy: Ann Savoy is an extraordinary Cajun musician who has played with the Savoy Doucet Cajun Band, Magnolia Sisters and Savoy Family Band. She is the author of Cajun Music, A Reflection of a People, which chronicles the history of Cajun and Zydeco music. Video Link

Contact ACZA for more information on their dances when you are in the Atlanta area: info@aczadance.org.

This and other Cajun and zydeco dance listings can be found at FloridaCajunZydeco.com.


Festival across the United States

Check "Festival-O-Rama" for listings of Cajun and zydeco festivals across the United States. Here are a couple of good ones coming up soon.

South Louisiana Blackpot Festival & Cookoff
October 24-25, 2014 at Acadian Village, Lafayette, Louisiana

The South Louisiana Black Pot Festival & Cookoff is one of the most unique festivals in Louisiana. Held annually at Lafayette’s Acadian Village, the festival celebrates its 9th year this October with two days of great music, dancing, food, camping & jamming. The festival is a cooperative of south Louisiana musicians, artists and southern culture enthusiasts, creating an unprecedented gathering of south Louisiana’s hottest roots bands, as well as a number of groups from all over the country. Live performances range from Cajun & Zydeco, to Creole, Swing, Hot Jazz, Blues, Bluegrass, Americana, Irish & Old-Time. Plus, an old-fashioned black pot cook-off, accordion contest, called square dancing, and ample camping space for tents & RVs. Tickets: $20 Friday; $30 Saturday includes free tasting of all cook-off foods; children under 12 free. Camping: $10 per night for tents/vehicles ($5 for Thursday night). RV campers (38 spots available) $33 per night (3 night minimum starts Thursday, Oct. 23) with water and electrical hookups.Bands will include: Bonsoir Catin, Silas Lowe and The Liabilities, Mama Rosin, Anna Lindblad, The Revelers, Mark Rubin and The Youngers of Zion, Pine Leaf Boys, Evie Ladin and Keith Terry, Tee Chaoui Social Club, Nouveau String Band, Brad Leftwich and Linda Higginbotham, Goldman Thibodeaux and The Lawtell Playboys, Paul Brown, Cajun Harmony, Kristin Andreassen, Miss Tess & The Talkbacks, Ginny Hawker & Tracy Schwarz, Preston Frank with Ed Poullard, The Carper Family, Feufollet, James Hunter Six. Check FloridaCajunZydeco.com for more information.

Al Berard Music Festival November 28-29
in Henderson, Louisiana

A new music festival honoring Al Berard sponsored by Community Foundation of Acadiana is planned for November 28-29, 2014 at Henry Guidry Memorial Park in Henderson, Louisiana. The St. Martin Parish native Al Berard was a Grammy-nominated musician, a gifted producer, and a mentor for music lovers everywhere. Al, age 53 when he died in February, left a rich musical legacy for the culture and region he loved. The same weekend, Easy Street Duo will perform at Blue Dog. Details will be posted at FloridaCajunZydeco.com.

Spotlight on: Pine Leaf Boys

Pine Leaf Boys at Cajun Cafe

What’s the most energetic, liveliest Cajun dance band on the planet?

A lot of dancers will say Pine Leaf Boys, headliners again at the Blackpot Festival in Lafayette in October. And they thrilled their audience this past weekend at the Ninigret Rhythm & Roots Festival in Charleston, Rhode Island. Locally, they have appeared at Cajun Cafe on the Bayou’s Crawfish Festival and Boca Grande Historical Society’s fundraising bash.

The band started as a group of friends who loved old time Cajun music playing impromptu shows in parking lots on the grounds of the University of Louisiana campus. When the school banned their unauthorized shows from the campus, their story made the local news and they were soon playing proper gigs, which was soon followed by a recording deal with Arhoolie to release their first album in 2006, La Musique. And after four Grammy® nominations (and a Grammy® win for band leader Wilson Savoy as part of Courtbouillon) this band still rocks. If you show up early at the Club MIXX dance on September 27th in downtown Clearwater, I will kick the evening off with their live performance at the 2014 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival of “I Got a Camel and He Likes to Ramble.” Silly lyrics, but it gets the party started with a seriously infectious beat.

The Pine Leaf Boys, known for their wild shows and thoughtful arrangements, have breathed new life into Cajun music, reviving ancient songs and bringing them to the bandstand—playing the old-fashioned dance hall standards as well as bringing the more obscure songs of past masters into their repertoire and playing them with gusto. Their mission is to present the real Cajun music of their ancestors to the world and prove that it is still thriving and full of life.

Based in Lafayette, in the heart of French Louisiana, the Pine Leaf Boys come from deep in the Cajun tradition. Founder Wilson Savoy, who plays accordion and piano and sings, is the son of Marc and Ann Savoy, Cajun music royalty. His first instrument was boogie-woogie piano; in his teens, his father made him his first accordion out of a sassafras tree his grandfather planted. Band mates Jon Bertrand, Courtney Granger, Drew Simon and Thomas David also have longstanding family connections to the living cultural heritage of southwest Louisiana. 

Courney Granger, who joined the band in 2008 on fiddle and vocals, hails from the Balfa family lineage, and has been a member of Balfa Toujours. Jon Bertrand on guitars was raised in the thriving hub of Jeff Davis Parish that is Pine Island and has played with Dexter Ardoin, Cory McCauley, and the Lost Bayou Ramblers. Drew Simon on drums and vocals was born and raised in Lafayette. He can also play accordion, guitar and bass, and describes himself as strictly a traditionalist, playing and singing in a style which has been described as a "simple, older, blue collared Cajun." Thomas David, also born and raised in Lafayette, began playing drums at age 8 in his father’s band, Jambalaya Cajun Band, and was introduced to the upright bass at age 16.

Soon after the Pine Leaf Boys emerged on the scene, the New York Times covered the Mardi Gras festivities in Lafayette. “This wasn’t a show for Mardi Gras tourists. On Lundi Gras, as they call the day before Fat Tuesday in south Louisiana, the Pine Leaf Boys were onstage before a crowd of locals at the Grant Street Dancehall here. The five musicians, all in their 20s, played songs by Cajun legends like the 1950s accordionist Iry LeJeune and the 1930s fiddler Dennis McGee, but the dancers who were packed shoulder to shoulder on the well-worn wooden floor didn’t seem to care about the history. They were more interested in the visceral excitement of the band’s signature song, ‘Pine Leaf Boy Two Step’. The songwriter Wilson Savoy, a long and lanky accordionist in a white mesh farmer’s cap, sang in Cajun French with whoops of excitement. A bleating melodic phrase from his button accordion was echoed by a high-pitched fiddle line and shoved along by an impatient rhythm section of guitar, bass and drums. A spell was cast, combining a mysterious past — the nearly forgotten dialect and the archaic squeezebox’s red bellows — with an unabashed rock ’n’ roll energy conducive to the elbow-flying, hip-swiveling spirit on the dance floor. The band sustained that spell for 90 minutes.”

You will want to see this band in person when you get a chance. In the meantime, their music is on my playlists at our Cajun and zydeco dances here in Florida.

New Music from Lipbone Redding

Lipbone Redding

Not Cajun or Zydeco: Lipbone Redding's version of "Sixteen Tons" is an absolute blues dance classic played at all west coast swing dance competitions across the country, and every Wednesday's Swing Dance at Gulfport Casino as well. The Lipbone has just released a new album called "Esmeralda" of gems which I just got today. He still has his characteristic "trombone sound" and other unique sound effects he creates incredibly with just his mouth to accompany his singing and guitar strumming, a relaxed "reggae" feel to most of his music, and his lyrics relate stories that are incredibly vivid and crazy. "The Cowgirls Meet on Guadelupe Street" is the party we all want an invitation to, "Saint James Infirmary Blues" sounds like the reincarnation of Louis Armstrong with some really funky muted trumpet "sounds" which most people would mistake for a the real thing, and "Speaker in The Window" just makes me smile as soon as it begins. And then there is a very nice homage to "Peter Tosh". Check it out at this link: http://www.nimbitmusic.com/lipbone

Lipbone may be making appearances in St. Petersburg and other locations in Florida. I will keep you posted on that. Please bookmark FloridaCajunZydeco.com for all things Cajun and zydeco, and Lipbone too.