Walter Pierce

Jazz Fest gets a taste of Saturday mornings at the Savoy Music Center

by Walter Pierce

The crowd at last weekend’s New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival got a taste of an authentic Cajun jam session when musicians who gather on Saturday mornings at Savoy Music Center in Eunice — the vast majority of them non-professional — performed for the second consecutive year. Some of the participants had never been to the Crescent City before, much less played before a festival crowd. Following is an account by Cynthia Brown, who took the photos and compiled them in the YouTube video:

On Saturday mornings, you can see cars and trucks lined up along Hwy. 190 that runs in front of Savoy Music Center in Eunice, LA. Local people and tourist are inside enjoying great Cajun music, conversing in French and eating boudin and cracklins that some of the visitors bring (which makes them very popular). You never know who will be there ... sometimes there are tour buses with people from other countries that stop by to experience the Cajun culture and music. Anyone can participate in the acoustic jam session, whether they play an accordion, fiddle, guitar, piano, etc.
Last year, the Jazz Festival invited the Savoy Music Center “Saturday Morning Jammers” to perform. They were such a big hit that the festival organizers invited them to perform again this year. They were all excited and honored.  No practice, no rehearsals ... just get on stage and JAM! Several of them sang old French songs which really pleased the crowd. They all made beautiful music together.  Their performance was again a huge success!
In Marc Savoy’s own words, he sums it up the best.....
“Not being professional doesn’t prevent making good music.”
“Not being professional doesn’t prevent being entertaining.”
“Being professional doesn’t mean jumping around and tearing up your instruments.”
“Being natural and feeling your music is what is important.”