When the Colonial Theatre opens its doors on February 24, the inspired bookers at the Berkshire Theatre Group will transport its audiences down to New Orleans with a night of rollicking zydeco, jazz, Cajun, blues and country music performed by the award winning band, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet.
A Little History
Cajun exudes the spice of the bayou, but Zydeco combines elements of an even older American musical style which began in the late 1700s: Cajun music, which comprises French fiddle tunes, Irish Celtic fiddle tunes, German button accordion, Latin rhythms, and Appalachian styles. Louisiana has an interesting mix of cultures.
Zydeco music was born in the late 1860s as a blend of Cajun music and two other “new” American music styles: blues and rhythm and blues. Haitian rhythms were also added, as Haitian natives moved to Louisiana to help harvest the new cash crop – sugarcane.
Zydeco (French, from the phrase: Les haricots ne sont pas salés, means “the snap beans aren’t salty”. This phrase is a colloquial expression that means ‘I have no spicy gossip for you.’ It has alternatively been referred to as meaning “I’m so poor, I can’t afford any salt meat for the beans.”