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September 14, 2004 > Cajun/Zydeco Festival Returns to Ardenwood

Cajun/Zydeco Festival Returns to Ardenwood

by Arathi Satish

The air at Ardenwood will be filled with the lively music of the Louisiana bayou country September 25th. The Cajun/Zydeco Festival is a celebration of the distinctive language, culture and spirit of the French-speaking Acadians who migrated to Southern Louisiana from Nova Scotia in 1755. Over the succeeding years, these people blended with many other ethnic groups. Now "Cajun" performers, combine fiddles and accordions with the sweet sounds of French music influenced by swing, country and rock influences. Zydeco is the result of the fusion of French-speaking Creole Cajun music with blues and rock and roll. While the fiddle is generally absent, Zydeco is usually played with accordion, electric guitar and bass, drums, and sometimes even a saxophone. A distinctive instrument of Zydeco music is the addition of a corrugated metal rubboard (called a 'frottior').

A common explanation for the term Zydeco is that it comes from the Creole saying, "Les haricots sont pas sal's" meaning "The beans aren't salty." This phrase means something like times are really hard if you don't even have salt for your beans, much less meat in the pot. This phrase has appeared in many Creole songs and is assumed to have been changed slightly to "Zydeco est pas sal" as sung in many of the original Zydeco songs.

This year's headliners, direct from Louisiana, are T-Broussard and the Zydeco Steppers with Mary Jane Ardoin Broussard. The local headliner will be Queen Ida and her Zydeco Band, back for the second time. Motor Dude Zydeco, Edward Poullard and Mark St. Mary will also take the stage. Zydeco magic is provided by Andre Thierry.

Dance lessons will be offered, Cajun food will be sold and all the other activities at the Ardenwood Farm will be open for the public to enjoy too.

Cajun/Zydeco Festival
Saturday, September 25, 2004
10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Ardenwood Historic Farm
34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont
$12 in advance, $16 at the gate
Children under 10 are free
Free parking

Information, call Maryanne at (510) 544- 2513 or visit

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