This was my first Festival Acadian but it will not be my last one. It was three nights and two days of some of the best Cajun and Zydeco players performing in Girard Park in Lafayette, LA on Friday October 11 through Sunday October 13. The festival started in the 70s and is still going strong. There were multiple stages after the first night so some hard choices had to be made. Here are a few of the highlights.
On Friday, Geno Delafose & French Rockin Boogie started the dancing in late afternoon. I have seen Geno many times and he always delivers great dancing Zydeco with some R&B covers thrown in. You can see the crowd and the main stage. Then Geno appears with some of his band.
The evening ended with the Jambalaya Cajun Band with special guests Jimmy C Newman, Belton Richard and DL Menard. By then it was too dark for photos but the guests represented some of the greatest pioneers of Cajun music who are still with us.
Saturday began with the youngest generation of Cajun players and then moved to those in the generation between them and Newman, Richard and Menard. Below you can see Huval and Fusilier and Les Bassettes who are carrying on the tradition with great skill. They will both have many years of performance ahead of them.
They were followed by the more experienced Balfa Toujours led by Christine Balfa, daughter of the late Dewey Balfa. Dewey did a lot of take Cajun music to a wider audience. Balfa Toujours means “Balfa forever” and they are certainly carrying on her father’s work. I had seen them at Jazzfest this year. Yvette Landry plays bass. She also has own band that I saw earlier at the Blue Moon Café in Lafayette doing mostly Swamp Pop. I later heard from a man who began a Cajun band in Michigan that both Christine Balfa and Yvette Landry traveled North to help then get started. You can see the Balfa Toujours below.
In the early evening Michael Doucet et les Amis Cadjins (aka Beausoil) played a great set. I got a few photos before it got dark. I have seen them in many places and they rank with the greatest of Cajun bands. This set was a classic. My next post will cover Sunday.