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August 13, 2013 > Cajun Zydeco Festival

Cajun Zydeco Festival

By Steve Taylor, Photo by Cassandra Broadwin

That song from the '60s was wrong - there is a cure for the summertime blues and that's Zydeco music! Once the squeezebox starts wheezing and the man with the rubboard strapped to his chest rakes it in rhythm, just tapping your toes won't be enough. Whatever's on your feet will soon be turned into dancing shoes by the fast-tempo music originally created at house dances deep in Louisiana and bayou country years ago. Ardenwood Historic Farm's 17th annual "Cajun Zydeco Festival" will lift your spirits to the tune of infectious Cajun/Zydeco music and dancing in a full day of celebration.

Among the great performers on stage will be Grammy-winning Terrance Simien and The Zydeco Experience. Simien is an 8th generation Louisiana Creole who has become one of the most respected and internationally recognized touring and recording artists in roots music today. While Zydeco is infectious and inviting on its own, Simien's 32 years of experience as a performer and his knowledge of Creole history makes him a highly respected teaching artist as well. You'll leave the festival calling the rubboard a "frottoir" and when you say the word "Zydeco" in Louisiana Creole French you'll know it translates to "the snap beans aren't salty," meaning "I'm so poor, I can't afford any salt meat for the beans." Ask Simien, he'll explain.

The music lineup also includes Sheryl Cormier, who calls herself the Queen of Cajun Accordion and grew up surrounded by Cajun music. Andre Thierry and Zydeco Magic have been a crowd favorite for years and will be back at the "Cajun Zydeco Festival" with their blend of traditional Zydeco music, hip-hop, blues, jazz, and rock. Thierry was born in Richmond but has family roots in Louisiana. Mark St. Mary Louisiana Blues and Zydeco Band round out the bill, singing in English and Creole French. St. Mary leads a quintet featuring some of the finest Cajun and Zydeco players of Northern California, delivering waltzes, two-steps, line dances, and flat-foot Zydeco.

Attendees will also be able to feast on delicious Southern and Cajun food, shop specialty vendors, and visit Ardenwood Farm's fields, animals, and historic Patterson House.

Bring a blanket, low-back lawn chair, sunblock, and don't forget those dancing shoes! Your good time will also support a good cause; the money raised from the "Cajun Zydeco Festival" benefits the Park Express Transportation Program for low-income schools and groups serving senior or disabled persons visiting the East Bay Regional Parks.

Cajun Zydeco Festival
Saturday, Aug 17
10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Ardenwood Historic Farm
34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont
(510) 544-2797
Tickets: $22 adults, $5 youth, three and under are free; free parking

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