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Celebrate 200 Years of Louisiana at Bayou n' Brooklyn Music Festival
Bayou n' Brooklyn offers festival goers a new wave of bands during its three-day extravaganza including workshops, family friendly concerts, community jam sessions, folklore, art and gumbo dinner including authentic gumbo.
This festival brings bayou born sounds to Brooklyn featuring legendary Louisiana performers to herald in a celebration of 200 Years of Louisiana.
“I'll be one big party,” says Cajun Hall of Fame-er Jesse Lége, who's giving over his Gumbo recipe again on Saturday evening.
We've added a new wave of bands and authentic bayou born musicians to our spring weekend. Sounds of Cajun fiddles, and zydeco rub-boards fill the air for three days and nights. Stay till early hours of the night for back-to-back bands and contests (If you've ever wanted to play rub-board with a band, here's your chance!) Bayou born sounds of Louisiana natives fiddler of the year winner Al Berard, young rising star Forest Huval, and former File’ Darren Wallace play for this weekend long party. Brooklyn's own: Catahoula Cajun Band and Doctor Zsa's Powdered Zydeco kick off the festival after Creole fiddler Cedric Watson teaches a tune or two on the fiddle. The festival showcases ten bands including Al Berard & Forest Huval, Jesse Lege & Bayou Brew, Empty Bottle Ramblers, Catahoula Cajun Band, Offshore Aces, Doctor Zsa’s Powdered Zydeco, Zydegroove, Krewe de la Rue, C’est Bon!, and Brooklyn’s own Johnny Ace and Sidewalk Zydeco.
Flying in for the event are Cecilia, Louisiana natives, Forest Brady Huval and Al Berard. Forest has been making his own way through Cajun music with the help of legends such as Al Berard and the Basin Brothers, Kyle Hebert and many other well-known musicians playing along side him. You can find Forest playing his accordion in places such as McGees Landing, Pont Breaux’s Cajun Restaurant, Boutins, Café Des Amis, The Crawfish Festival, The Liberty Theater and Blue Moon Saloon. Young rising star Forest Huval has an aspiration of becoming the next generation of authentic accordion players and vocalist with hopes of keeping the Cajun music alive.
Al Berard, is a multi-award recipient winning “best fiddler of the year, Grammy nominee several times from the Cajun French Music Association CFMA, and is in demand by festivals world wide. Al shares his seamless fiddle sounds and anecdotal stories of their homeland in performance and workshop. He’s an amazing teacher known for instilling confidence and teaching those who have absolutely no musical background to actually get a feel for playing the fiddle and excel. Al shows us how to learn the ‘feel’ of Cajun music while mastering backing and seconding techniques, which are the underpinnings of true Cajun fiddling and teaches basic bowing patterns for the waltz and two-step melodies to fiddlers of all levels.
Kids are welcome too during special family events on both Saturday and Sunday. “I Love Cajun Fiddle!” event, Sunday, May 13 at 11 a.m., aims to teach children 8 years old and older, how to make their violins sound like a Bayou-bred fiddle. Michelle Kaminsky, a member of Offshore Aces and the director of Cajun Kids in Rhode Island, will lead the seminar.
“Cajun music is one of America’s precious cultural resources and here in Brooklyn, it is a rare occurrence,”
“It is a tradition in this music for musicians to add their own personal technique and individuality to the songs, performing and making it uniquely their own. They bring an authentic artistic quality to this festival and share with other lovers of the craft,” she said. Open community jam sessions are open to players of all ages and abilities, and are designed to the allow anyone to try an instrument, bring voice to the song or just come to listen.
Native Cajun musicians lead “Unwritten Stories”, a musical presentation allowing event-goers the opportunity to immerse themselves into the stories and music of the Cajun culture. They can hear about the natural and logical sequence between historical fact and musical evolution and learn the history of the Cajun people starting with their roots in France, following their resettlement to Canada and their ultimate forced migration to Louisiana, and the culture as it has developed from there.
“It’s like a visit to NOLA followed by some Acadiana without leaving Brooklyn, and bring your dancin shoes!” says festival attendee and New Yorker Linda Tharpe.
Bayou n’ Brooklyn is sponsored in part by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council, Inc. and Louisiana Culture, Recreation and Tourism, celebrating 200 years of Louisiana; www.louisiana.com
Day passes are $15 or $35 for all three days. Children under 12 years old are admitted free. The festival pass includes family dance, community jam sessions, Un-Written Stories culture talk, and all-night dance hall bands. Workshops $25 or $20 for two or more. “I love Cajun Fiddle!” workshop is $20.
For reservations call (718) 395 3214 or visit www.bayou-n-