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Bayou n' Brooklyn

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Big Easy on the Buttermilk Channel

Red Hook, Brooklyn’s Bayou, Brings the Big Easy North for a Weekend of Cajun and Zydeco Sounds.

Brooklyn, NY, April 21, 2011 --( Bayou n’ Brooklyn Music Festival, the borough’s first Cajun Zydeco Festival experience, conceived and produced by fiddler Deborah Monlux. Inspired by the music of Cajun fiddler David Greely, Deborah enlisted as his fiddle student, videoconference style. She then later decided to promote the integration of this special form of American Roots music to a Brooklyn audience presenting renowned Cajun musicians such as Jesse Lége, community jam sessions, original Cajun and blues style music workshops, topped off with a Gumbo dinner. This first annual event presented at Jalopy Music Theatre, a well-established music performance venue in Brooklyn, NY. This Red Hook gem has received much kudos and praise from major press such as New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Village Voice.

Cajun music is one of America’s precious cultural resources and here in Brooklyn, NY it is a rare occurrence. The songs played by Cajun musicians today were handed down from generation to generation. It is a tradition in this music for musicians to add their own personal technique and individuality to the song, performing and making it uniquely their own.

Cajun Bands typically are influenced by roots country music. Most Cajun bands could be considered a kind of fusion between French/American country with addition of the instruments triangle (called Tit fer) and accordion. However, Creole music tends to retain more of that older style of playing Cajun music colored by Afro Caribbean sensibilities. Some say there is no such thing as Creole music, that it is really Cajun music by another name. Others think the black and Creole players would accent the rhythms of Cajun music in a distinctly unique way from their white Cajun neighbors, but here is a great deal of overlap and back and forth influence between the Cajuns and Creoles.

With roots in traditional country zydeco, Laren Droll’s band, ZydeGroove, draws inspiration from Louisiana greats such as Boozoo Chavis, Delton Broussard, and Preston Frank. Zydeco music is most closely related to what most know as "Rhythm and Blues," and to other Afro-Caribbean traditions. It has more of a pepper flavor and has a signature rhythm and phrasing all of it’s own. Zydeco uses all types of accordions including a triple row and piano accordion in addition to a diatonic push button accordion. The scrub-board harkens back to a time when the poor made music with common household objects like washboards, spoons on cardboard boxes and accompanied by stomping, slapping, singing in lively poly rhythms. Once the black and Creole peoples got hold of musical instruments, their music evolved into the zydeco we know of today. A Creole metal worker, Cleveland Chenier invented the rub board vest back in the 50’s used today by all zydeco bands. He was a master of the instrument and played with his brother Clifton Chenier, known as the original King of Zydeco.

At Bayou n’ Brooklyn Festival, novice and experienced musicians will be able to take a workshop in Cajun singing, Accordion, Fiddle, Cajun Guitar, and Lead Belly Guitar. Musical workshops are followed by back-to-back bands Big Road Blues, Catahoula Cajun Band, Empty Bottle Ramblers, Magnolia Cajun Band on Friday and Cleoma’s Ghost, Jesse Lége and Bayou Brew, and ZydeGroove on Saturday.

In an effort for cross-cultural exchange, you’ll have the opportunity to sing and play with the musicians. Traditional Cajun music is typically is played by accordion, fiddle, guitar, triangle although other acoustic instruments are welcome. The Cajun music jam sessions provide both novice musicians who would like to learn and veterans who are glad to share with a casual setting to pass on the knowledge. Bring your instruments, come join in, or just come and listen to some great traditional Cajun.

Bayou n’ Brooklyn is pleased to present musician Jesse Lége, whom hails from Gueydan, Louisiana and is one of the most admired Cajun accordionists and vocalists today. Jesse has been nominee and winner of numerous CFMA (Cajun French Music Association) awards including Accordion Player of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, and Cajun Music Hall of Fame, Best Traditional Band of the Year, Accordion Player of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Band of the Year, Song of the Year (for "Memoires Dans Mon Coeur"). Additionally, 1998 he was inducted into the Cajun Music Hall of Fame. Jesse often tours Caleb Klauder's Country Band with Jesse Lége and Joel Savoy and just recently released CD: Jesse Lége, Joel Savoy and the Cajun Country Revival’s The Right Combination.

Jalopy Music Theatre, Brooklyn, NY (Red Hook Neighborhood)
315 Columbia Street (Between Hamilton & Woodhull) Brooklyn, NY 11231
Reservations (718) 395 3214
Tickets for each evening: in advance $12; door $15
Tickets for workshops: $25 (jam session included with admission)

Directions by Subway: F or G train to Carroll St. (first car if coming from North/West). Walk 1 block up Smith St to 1st Place. Make left. Walk down past highway to Columbia St. Make left to 315 Columbia.

Deborah Monlux
Bayou n’ Brooklyn Music Festival
Fri. & Sat. May 6th & 7th 2011
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Contact Information
Bayou n' Brooklyn
Deborah Monlux
212 696 6677

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