"In years past, it wasn't in good taste for them to play in dancehalls, but women grew up in homes watching and listening to their brothers and fathers playing Cajun music and they too learned to play," says Michelle Leder of the Cajun French Music Association.
Starting in the 1970s, with Sheryl Cormier forming the first all-female Cajun band, women have increased their presence in Cajun music. Today, all-female bands such as the Magnolia Sisters and female-led bands like Kira Viator & Bayou Beat are forging their identities.
With an ear to those accomplishments, the CFMA's Le Cajun Festival ' two days of live music coinciding with its annual Grammy-style awards ceremony ' features a special all-female super group pulling together Kristi Guillory, Yvette Landry and Anya Schoenegge, Maegan Berard and Ashley Hayes. The band backs guest spots by Helen Boudreaux, Sheryl Cormier and Kira Viator.
"Young women today feel free to follow their interests, and the number of talented women musicians publicly playing music is growing," says Leder. "It is very important that they have the same opportunities as men to play, perform and spread the music and culture to the rest of Acadiana and the world. We need to spotlight these talented women ' seasoned and new musicians. We need to provide them with the opportunities to express their creative talents. We need to let them know that we are happy and proud that they have chosen to hold on to the French music, the Cajun French language and the Cajun culture. The women playing today are the next generation's role models."
The CFMA's Le Cajun awards is held at 7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 18 at the Heymann Performing Arts Center. The Le Cajun Music Festival runs Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 19 and 20 at Blackham Coliseum, with music starting at 10 a.m. both days. Saturday's lineup features Bubba Brown, Ray Abshire, Kevin Naquin & The Ossun Playboys, the all-star female group, Pine Leaf Boys, Jason Frey & Lagniappe; Sunday features Robert Jardell & Pure Cajun, Walter Mouton & The Scott Playboys, T-Sale and Jesse Lege & The Southern Ramblers. For more info, visit www.cajunfrenchmusic.org.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.
JPMorgan Chase is giving $1 million to Louisiana's community and technical colleges, to help with workforce training efforts to match students to available jobs.
President Barack Obama is turning to black radio listeners to plead for midterm votes, a targeted approach to drum up Democratic support at a time when many candidates don't want him around in person.
WaPo Watergate editor Ben Bradlee dies; Clintons stump for Dems; Liberians stranded and more national and international news for Wednesday, October 22, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Law firm unveils newly renovated 200-year-old building.
UL grad named web developer at BBR Creative
Lafayette-based emergency department staffing and management company raises $120 million in senior credit facilities through GE Capital, Healthcare Financial Services.
High-rise apartment building, parking garage, hotel and retail part of new development.
A common thread runs through many of those we oppose: Enshrining in the Constitution protections on programs and their funding sources has had a disastrous effect on Louisiana’s most important economic development engine.
"I am extremely disheartened by the political machines that are attempting to hijack my efforts along with others that advocate for children."
Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat for a fourth term, said that Ebola is serious and precautions should be taken, but she accused Republicans of using the virus outbreak in West Africa to "create fear" here at home.
The number of Louisianans with jobs continued to set records in September, but the state's unemployment rate kept rising.
Three bedroom cottage or three bedroom ranch
Sheer lace perfection
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana is drowning, quickly.
Law enforcement agencies are participating in a "Louisiana Heroin Summit," designed to address the recent rise in heroin use and drug-related deaths around the state.
State education officials are preparing to release performance scores for public schools and public school districts.
Saints coach Sean Payton is starting a new week by emphasizing, repeatedly, the many good things he noticed during New Orleans' latest loss.
We will be offering our recommendations on the constitutional amendments tomorrow.
Three bedroom in Lawtell or two bedroom in Rayne
Fall's new darling
The justices did not comment in leaving in place lower court rulings that dismissed the lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the worst U.S. offshore oil spill.
White registration is down by 7,700 voters while black registration has shot up by 7,100 voters.
Even though it had been rumored for months, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu finally pulled the trigger recently on a major campaign shakeup that moved control over to a few Big Easy insiders.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana's health department says it will seek law changes to stop billing sexual assault victims for exams and tests.
An investment group led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets will buy the Louisiana power company Cleco for $3.4 billion.