The role of the drums, rubboard, t-fer, spoons, fiddlesticks and other instruments that form the backbeat of Cajun and Creole music is the topic today at Vermilionville, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Cajun and Creole musicians Christine Balfa, Zydeco Mike, Kristi Guillory, Chris Segura, and Corey "Lil' Pop" Ledet will share their favorite percussion stylings and how they learned them.

 Balfa is known to play both the t-fer [triangle] in Cajun bands and also don a rubboard as well. She says there's really no difference between the purpose of the two found in Cajun and zydeco bands.

"Not too much," Balfa says. "Basically, you're just laying down a rhythm."

 Balfa says both percussion instruments are key to the band's sound and pace.

 "For me, the triangle it's pretty much like a metronome," Balfa says. "And the rubboard, it's like a steady metronome, but you might syncopate a little bit more. But I never syncopate for a triange."

With the rubboard, she says, "you might play around with it a little bit more. With the triangle, I'd sort of play it more steady."

For either instrument, it's harder than it looks to play and master and natural rhythm is probably the key.

"I think you could probably learn, but to be able to play a rhythm instrument I think you sort of have to have natural rhythm," she says. "I think you can learn rhythm to maybe play [an instrument] or dance. If you're going to play a rhythm instrument, it has to be so natural."

Jennifer Guidry, assistant director of Center for Cultural and ECO-Tourism [CCET] says the monthly series focuses on different aspects of the local culture.

"The Backyard Series is designed to engage the community in informal conversation about a given topic so that we can all learn what's in our cultural backyard," she says.

 The event is a BYO affair.

 "Bring your own percussion instruments, questions and your own stories about picking up everyday objects and turn them into instruments," says Guidry.

The Backyard Series is free and open to all ages. Food and drinks are available for purchase. The Backyard Series is sponsored by CCET, with support from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, the Acadiana Center for the Arts and the Vermilionville Foundation. For more information call (337) 482-1320.

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