If it's the first weekend of September in Acadiana, you can count on a convergence of two things: blazing temperatures and the annual Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Festival.

This year's 23rd annual festival, on Saturday, Sept. 3, once again takes place in the soybean fields of Plaisance, featuring tight grooves in a wide-open space. The festival's mission has always been to promote the legacy and future of zydeco and Creole music, and the 2005 festival maintains that mantra.

This year's lineup includes the R&B-influenced sounds of Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble, the hip-hop-inspired beats of Chris Ardoin (pictured) & New Step, torchbearer Lil' Nathan Williams and the Zydeco Big Timers, the good-time grooves of J. Paul & the Zydeco New Breeds, and Step Rideau and the Zydeco Outlaws. Festival organizer Paul Scott is also looking forward to the debut of promising Texas-based newcomers Same Old Two Step.

Besides a main stage for the festival headliners, there's also a Louisiana Folk Roots-sponsored Heritage Stage that spotlights the culture and traditions of zydeco. Featured presentations include the evolution of zydeco music and zydeco dancing; Jeffery Broussard on a capella juré; and a storytelling workshop. Kudos to nonprofit organization the Southern Development Foundation for putting it all together and continuing one of Acadiana's signature festivals.


For more info, including directions and admission prices, visit www.zydeco.org or call 942-2392.

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