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Love Cajun and Zydeco Music?

Cajun and Zydeco Musicians

Use www.FloridaCajunZydeco.com as your own up-to-date source  for Cajun and zydeco dance events throughout Florida. The site includes comprehensive information on the major festivals throughout the United States in the exclusive "Festival-O-Rama" section on the home page.

You'll want to check out the radio broadcasts of Cajun and zydeco programs too. Fifteen Cajun-Zydeco programs are listed in the widget on the home page. You can now hear programs streamed to your computer "live" nearly every day of the week, or listen to the archived shows from the past weeks.

In the works are mobile and tablet versions of the site. You won't have to do a thing. The site will appear formatted differently and easier to navigate if you view it on your phone or tablet.

Bookmark www.FloridaCajunZydeco.com for the latest information on dance opporltunities throughout the state of Florida. Enjoy! And see you on the dance floor.

Jim Hance




What is a Fais Do-Do?

Fais Do-Do

Fais do-do is a name for a Cajun dance party, originating before World War II. According to Edwin Duhon of the Hackberry Ramblers, young mothers would go into the "cry room" at a house party, give their infants a nipple and say, "Fais do-do" (go to sleep). "She would want the baby to go to sleep fast, 'cause she's worried about her husband dancing with somebody else out there."

'Do-do' itself is a shortening of the French verb dormir (to sleep), used primarily in speaking to small children.

TODAY! ---- July 6th, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. It's a Fais Do-Do at Skippers in Tampa

Gumbo Boogie at Skippers

Get down and do some dancing! 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and beyond! Just a reminder that Gumbo Boogie is tuned up for their return to Skippers, and I will be spinning zydeco dance tunes at the band breaks and after 9 p.m. for those who are present.  I will be sure to play a couple tunes from Nathan and the Zydeco Cha-Chas recent CD release A New Road, some Chubby Carrier, some Jeffery Broussard, some Horace Trahan, some Geno Delafose, and maybe a couple different versions of the song many contend is the very first Zydeco hit, "Paper in My Shoe" (1953 by Boozoo Chavis). Come on out and celebrate YOUR INDEPENDENCE dancing to some great Cajun and zydeco tunes at Skippers. Don't forget Skippers has great seafood at reasonable prices, and your favorite beers on tap too.  Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa 33613. $10 cover.  www.skipperssmokehouse.com.

Don't forget, if you can't make it to this Fais Do-Do, you can find future dance parties will be listed at www.floridacajunzyeco.com.

New Monthly Dance on Tuesdays at Vertigo on Ulmerton in Clearwater a success!

Vertigo Nightclub, Clearwater, FL

We danced to some great tunes provided by Sharon Stern on July 1st at a new venue for us, Vertigo (upstairs above Yard of Ale). We will correct some issues we had with the volume of the music (we got drowned out a bit by the crowd of soccer fans downstairs), and the lighting. It's always nice when the room is bright enough to see your dance partner! Look to www.floridacajunzydeco.com for a posting of the next dance --- around the first Tuesday of August. 

Make Your Plans Now for August Festivals in California and Rhode Island!

August festivals feature Mark St. Mary, Andre Thierry, Steve Riley and Jeffery Broussard.

August 2 & 3, 2014 --- Long Beach Crawfish Festival at Rainbow Lagoon in Long Beach. Bands will include Andre Thierry and Zydeco Magic, Step Rideau, Bonne Musique Zydeco, Chris Ardoin, and Wayne Thibodeau. Tickets $13 and up. See FloridaCajunZydeco.com's "Festival-O-Rama" section on the home page for more information.

August 16-17, 2014 --- Cotati Accordion Festival in Cotati, California.  Bands: Andre Thierry, Mark St. Mary, MotorDude Zydeco; also, Alicia Baker, Big Lou's Dance Party, Dick Contino, Future Accordion Stars, Jet Black Pearl, Matuto, Polkacide, Rory McNamara and The Ring of Truth Trio, Sourdough Slim and Robert Armstrong, Mad Maggies, Wild Catahoulas. Festival location is north of San Francisco. See FloridaCajunZydeco.com's "Festival-O-Rama" section on the home page for more information.

August 16, 2014 --- Ardenwood Cajun Zydeco Festival in Fremont, California.  Cajun/Zydeco music, dancing and delicious Southern and Cajun food. Visit the farm animals, shop specialty vendors and join some dance lessons. Our 18th Annual Festival features national and local bands. Advance Tickets will be on sale from May 30 - Monday, August 11, 4:30 pm online and by calling 1-888-Ebparks (1-888-327-2757, option 2). $20.00 per Adult (16+ years) $ 5.00 per Child (4-15 years). 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont, CA, 94555. (510) 796-0663. See FloridaCajunZydeco.com's "Festival-O-Rama" section on the home page for more information.

August 29-31, 2014 --- 17th Annual Rhythm & Roots Festival at Ninigret Park, Charlestown, Rhode Island. Featured bands include Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys, Jeffery Broussard and The Creole Cowboys, CJ Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band, GRAMMY-winning Courtbouillon, Southern Hospitality, Terrence Simien and The Zydeco Experience, Pine Leaf Boys, Ed Poullard and Preston Frank, and The Duhks. Ninigret Park is flat, grassy and spacious! It is perfect for RVs, pop-up campers and tents. Camping at Ninigret Park is allowed ONLY during the Rhythm and Roots Festival. A full festival camping ticket includes camping from 9:00 am Friday thru Noon on Monday (Labor Day). Each person over the age of 12 who plans to camp at Rhythm & Roots needs a full festival camping ticket. Anyone without a full festival camping ticket must leave the premises by 12:30 each night (a half hour after the music ends at the dance pavilion). See FloridaCajunZydeco.com's "Festival-O-Rama" section on the home page for more information.

Zydeco Radio on the Internet

KVRS Radio

On Saturdays you can enjoy eight hours of continuous broadcast from KRVS in Lafayette, LA beginning with "Zydeco Est Pas Sale" at 9:00 a.m. (EST), then "Zydeco Stomp" with host Herman Fusilier, and "Born on The Bayou" ending at 5:00 p.m. (EST).

Here in Florida, John Osgood hosts "Louisiana Gumbo Show" on Sunday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (EST) over WSLR in Sarasota. John's special gumbo is a mix of zydeco, jazz, blues, roots rock Mardi Gras, Indian and funk tunes.

There are more than a dozen radio programs you can enjoy and any time on your computer in the drop-down titled "Cajun Zydeco on the Radio" at the very bottom of the home page at FloridaCajunZydeco.com. Check it out!

Spotlight on Nathan Williams, Sr.

Nathan Williams

It's all in the family for Nathan Williams and The Zydeco Cha-Chas. All the band members are brothers or cousins of Nathan, and his son "Lil Nathan", a zydeco star in his own right, plays drums, bass and accordion on the band's recent release, A New Road.

Nathan Williams (born 1964) is an American Zydeco accordionist and leader of the band Nathan Williams and The Zydeco Cha-Chas.  

Williams grew up in a Creole-speaking home in St. Martinville, Louisiana, the youngest of seven children. Times were hard for the Williams family and Williams lost his father when he was only seven years old. He developed his musical sensibility in his hometown, a place rich in folk tradition, following in the footsteps of his uncle, the Cajun guitarist Harry Hypolite.

Nathan eagerly sought out the music of Zydeco originators such as Clifton Chenier. When he was too young to attend a Chenier dance at a St. Martinville club, he hovered by the window-sized fan at the back of the building to hear his idol, only to have the bill of his baseball cap clipped off by the fan when he leaned too close.

Williams moved to Lafayette, Louisiana to live with his older brother Sid and his wife. He worked in Sid's grocery store. Later, while recovering from a serious illness, Nathan decided to dedicate himself to learning the accordion. He began practicing in the bathroom because he did not want anyone to hear him play.

Nathan formed The Cha-Chas 1985, and since then has brought his unique take on this regional South Louisiana music to all corners of the globe. From Lincoln Center in New York to The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Nathan's music has crossed all barriers to speak to the very heart of his audience.

In 1988 Williams performed for the first time at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, after which he got his lucky break. Buckwheat Zydeco had left Rounder Records for Island Records, leaving Rounder in need of an accordionist to fill a spot on a project they had lined up. Buckwheat Zydeco suggested Williams for the position. Nathan auditioned and got the recording contract.

Inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2005, he was honored last year with the Zydeco Music Association's Lifetime Acheivement Award. The Cha-Chas has been voted the top Festival Band in the country, and have won the coveted Big Easy award for Best Zydeco Band for several years running.

In a review of their latest recording released in September, A New Road, Offbeat Magazine's Dan Willging wrote:
The group is still able to create infectious originals that are in the league of such legacy chestnuts “Your Mama Don’t Know” and “Let’s Go.” On “Lookin’ For What You’re Lookin’ For,” brother Dennis Paul Williams creates a catchy ringing sound against his guitar strings every eight beats or so. “Still Alive” is the disc’s centerfold concept where Nathan silences those critics who say he’s not in game; the prolific tunesmith is just at home writing songs. Additionally, he’s also a cunning marketing strategist, tossing in a bluesy, slinky zydeco Christmas song in a genre not known for holiday music. Co-producer/ son Nathan Jr. adds killer jazzy keys to the arrangement.

The Zydeco Cha-Chas are presently touring the country, and playing this weekend at the Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland, Oregon.

Albums by Nathan Williams and The Zydeco Cha-Chas:
Steady Rock (1989)
Your Mama Don't Know (1991)
Follow Me Chicken (1993)
Creole Crossroads (1995)
I'm a Zydeco Hog (1997)
Let's Go (2000)
Hang It High, Hang It Low (2006)
Live at The 2011 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (2011)
A New Road (2013)

A Special Thank You!

A special THANK YOU to Jerry Carrier for his support of this website, and his tireless efforts to keep Cajun and zydeco alive in Florida with his email CZ NEWSLETTER. If you would like to receive Jerry's newsletter, send him an email requesting to be added to his email list to jerry.carrier@verizon.net. I find his newsletter to be an excellent source of information for my Dance Calendar page. Jerry is awesome!

Regards. Jim Hance