Balfa Week focuses on Cajun, Creole music

by Walter Pierce

The six-day immersion camp is highlighted by some great concerts Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Photos by Terri Fensel

The six-day Cajun- and Creole-music immersion camp is highlighted by some great concerts Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Named in honor of the late Dewey Balfa, the Cajun fiddler who as much as any other figure helped bring Cajun music to a wider audience, subsequently launching the Cajun Renaissance 40 years ago, Balfa Week is part culture school and part festival with a heaping helping of family reunion thrown in for flavor. It takes place Saturday through Thursday at Vermilion, with a ton of classes on Cajun/Creole accordion, fiddling, guitar playing and even singing, punctuated each day with concerts in the Vermilionville Performance Center featuring some of the top talent in the business.

Creole accordionist Preston Frank will teach a class.

Balfa Week kicks off Friday night (tonight) with an Early Bird Welcome Dance at Blue Moon Saloon featuring Bonsoir, Catin followed by Feufollet. Ten bucks gets you in. The music starts at 9:30 p.m.

The action moves to Vermilionville Saturday with the commencement classes and other activities, capped off by the Balfa Week Opening Night Dance at 7:30 p.m. in the Performance Center with opening act Balfa Toujours and headliner Soul Creole featuring Cajun fiddler/vocalist Louis Michot (of Lost Bayou Ramblers) and zydeco accordionist/vocalist Corey "Lil' Pop" Ledet. Admission is $10.

Leave the wallet at home Sunday for the Free SuperJam des Amis, a four-hour jam session hosted by Yvette Landry, Brazos Huval, Chris Segura and Jimmy Breaux.

To find out more about classes and other activities during Balfa Week, check out Louisiana Folk Roots' website here. http://www.lafolkroots.org/balfa-week