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Zydeco in Northern California and Still Singing the Blues II

September 16, 2010

Hi folks!

It is about time we update you-all on two projects that have been in the works for a while.

First, late last spring the California Council for the Humanities asked us to travel to Northern California to do a little research on the zydeco community there. What does zydeco have to do with the blues of South Louisiana you ask? More than you might think. Zydeco is an infectious dance music that evolved within the rural Creole communities of South Louisiana and, since the middle of the last century, has won fans across the country. It is especially popular in parts of California where Creoles settled during and after World War II.

In May we traveled to the Bay Area where we were able to interview zydeco icons like Queen Ida and André Thierry, as well as see some really great zydeco concerts at the 23 Club in Brisbane and the Eagles Hall in Alameda. The photos of the dancers below were taken by Barry Yeoman at the Alameda Eagles Hall.

We have done our research and are finishing our reports for the California Council for the Humanities. Hopefully, we will be able to get funding to do a full radio documentary. Stay tune for more information on that in October.

Second, we are almost finished with the second part of Still Singing the Blues. Part two focuses on small “back of town” clubs in New Orleans and the difficulties they are experiencing trying to survive. On Sunday, September 19, we are recording the narration and by the end of next week we will have it finished and loaded to PRX.

Until then, enjoy these photos that Barry took!

Zydeco dancers

Zydeco dancers at Eagles Hall in Alameda

More zydeco dancers at Eagles Hall

More zydeco dancers at Eagles Hall enjoying André Thierry and his band

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