Three stages and twenty-one bands are scheduled for the Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival, June 9-10 at the U.S. Mint. A special guest this year will be D.L. Menard, the eighty year-old Cajun music legend, will make his first appearance at the fest. C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band will also be making their first appearance at this event.
Menard is probably best known for his composition of ”La Porte En Arrière" ("The Back Door"); what some historians claim is the most recorded Cajun song. His 1993 album, Le Trio Cadien, was nominated for a Grammy Award as was the 2009 CD Happy Go Lucky. He is a member of the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. He will appear on the Barracks Street Stage on Sunday, June 10 at 3:15 p.m.
C.J. Chenier has also been nominated for a Grammy Award and has led the Red Hot Louisiana Band since his father’s (Clifton Chenier) death in 1987. He has recorded with Paul Simon and the Gin Blossoms, as well as appeared on Austin City Limits and on the Jon Stewart Show and CNN. Chenier will be on the Esplanade Stage, 5:30 p.m. Friday.
In addition, Geno Delofose, Travis Matte and the Kingpins, Al Berard and the Family Band, and La Famille Cormier are also on the list for the first time.
Couple that with returning artists like the Lost Bayou Ramblers, Rosie Ledet, Sunpie Barnes and Bruce Daigrepont and there will be plenty of two-stepping around the Mint.
The festival was started by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation six years ago to celebrate the Cajun and Zydeco music of South Louisiana. Held in conjunction with the French Market’s Creole Tomato Festival, this fete has featured the best in Cajun and Zydeco music, including several Grammy Award winning acts.
Admission to the festival is free and fair goers can listen to music and stroll through the French Market. Music begins at 11 a.m. each day and closes at 7 p.m. There will be food vendors, cooking demonstrations and a crafts fair, also. The U.S. Mint is at the point where Decatur St. meets Esplanade.
For more information on the festival go online to: http://www.jazzandheritage.org/cajun-zydeco