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September 13, 2005 > 9th Annual Cajun Zydeco Festival

9th Annual Cajun Zydeco Festival

by Susana Nuņez

The Louisiana Bayou Country may be reeling from the effects of Hurricane Katrina and far from California, but the spirit of these indomitable people will not be denied; locals will once again experience lively Cajun sounds right here in the Tri-City area. This year, the much-anticipated Cajun Zydeco Festival will be celebrating its ninth year running, and thriving, with the support of the community and local sponsors. With a talented line-up of performers and local favorites, the festival is sure to attract music lovers of all ages.

For nearly a decade, the Cajun Zydeco Festival has celebrated the distinctive language, culture and spirit of the French-speaking Acadians. This migrating group traveled to Southern Louisiana from Nova Scotia in 1755 and over the succeeding years, these people blended with many other ethnic groups. "Cajun" performers combine fiddles and accordions with the rich sounds of French music influenced by swing, country and rock. 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 an accordion, electric guitar and bass, drums, and sometimes even a saxophone. One of Zydeco music's distinctive instruments is the addition of a corrugated metal rubboard, called a frottior.

The melding of these complex sounds has produced a catchy style that continues to gain fans while allowing it to remain a signature Bayou sound. Festival-goers can hear this traditional music first-hand from quality acts at the event. This year's performers are the Lost Bayou Ramblers, from Lafayette Louisiana, Tommy Michot of Les Freres Michot and father of Louis and Andre Michot of the Lost Bayou Ramblers, Brian Jack and the Zydeco Gamblers from Dayton, Texas, Bonne Musique Zydeco from Los Angeles, and our local star Andre Thierry and Zydeco Magic.

The 9th Annual Cajun Zydeco Festival will take place on Saturday, September 17 at the Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont. Gates will open at 10:00 a.m. and the live music will run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. General admission tickets are $14 in advance and $18 at the door; tickets for children 5 to 10 years old are $1 and admission is free for children 4 and under. Parking at the event is free. All proceeds will go toward the relief effort in New Orleans.

For advance tickets, call the East Bay Regional Park District at (510) 636-1684 or log onto Call Deadline for advanced tickets is September 9. For more information, call Maryanne at (510) 544-2513.

Ardenwood Historic Park is located at Hwy 880 and Hwy 84, just east of the Dumbarton Bridge, at 34600 Ardenwood Blvd, Fremont.

9th Annual Cajun Zydeco Festival
Saturday, September 17
11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Ardenwood Historic Farm
34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont
(510) 562-7275
East Bay Regional Park Service will donate all proceeds from the Cajun Zydeco Festival to the relief effort in New Orleans.

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