Local Cajun/Zydeco Scene Update
It is becoming increasingly difficult to produce these events. Just in the past year, the Baltimore group has folded; Philadelphia is at high risk of stopping, though they are hoping people will step up to keep it going, and we are also at high risk of stopping. The Sugar Loaf Music series also recently stopped. We had worked together to bring up Bruce Daigrepont several times, which included our post-Katrina benefits.
There are many reasons why it is getting more and more difficult to keep this up. Some of these reasons include higher gas and plane fares for bands, lower attendance at events, fewer venues to make a good tour, and bands are now clustering around the many festivals. Bands need extra bookings around those festivals, but there is generally poor attendance when this happens. There are other reasons also, but as I see it — these are the main ones.
LETS ZYDECO Status
In New York recently, we haven’t had as much support from many of the real core zydeco fans as I would have liked. With the exception of the Rosie Ledet show on April 21st, we have had very poor attendance for the past 5 shows. And for the past 2 shows, the attendance was particularly poor. Ruben Moreno on March 20th and Jeffery Broussard on March 25th both put on fantastic shows. But only had 54 and 57 people attended.
And this was with amazing press coverage – The New York Times, The New Yorker and Time Out NY all covered Jeffery’s show. The main problem was a conflict with the Bayou ‘n Boogie Festival. All three Louisiana bands that played at Bayou ‘n Boogie asked me to give them an extra gig. I thought one might work, then I accepted two, because frankly, the bands need these extra gigs to be able to play at the festivals. I turned the third band down, knowing that wouldn’t work—but clearly none of it worked.
This is both embarrassing and expensive. Contracts had been signed, so I ended up loosing around $1200 that week alone. Not surprisingly, this doesn’t work for me.
Assistance for this Shortfall
Any contributions anyone can make towards this $1200 shortfall would be gratefully accepted and appreciated. Those of you who are able, and so inclined to help, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
For now, we have one scheduled future event—Cedric Watson and Bijou Creole—on Saturday, June 16th. Details on www.LetsZydeco.com. He is a four-time Grammy Nominee, puts on a great show, and anyone who comes will enjoy the evening. Please try and attend, and come with as many friends as possible. We so need the support of the community right now.
Some Other Events
All of these are worth attending. Find details on www.arnb.org
- Lincoln Center has two Cajun/Zydeco events:
- Thursday, June 8th, the Target Free Thursdays at the Atrium on Broadway features the Cajun Band, Feufollet. It’s a free event, but they close the doors when it is full—this is where Steve Riley played last year.
- And Friday, July 6th, Midsummer Night Swing with Geno Delafose.
- Saturday, July 14th – Arn & Gerry’s Danceathon in New Jersey deserves to be supported, too.
Those of you still reading, thank you, cheers, and best regards—I love you all—