MUSIC ON THE BAYOU AND BEYOND
Cajun: Multicultural Fusion
Dominated by the accordion—an instrument that can be heard over foot-stomping dancers—Cajun music got its start as French fiddle tunes were spiced up by Creoles, Acadians, Italians, Spanish and African-Americans. You can hear its bluesy sound at street festivals and restaurants in Cajun Country, including Mulate's in Breaux Bridge, Randol's and Prejean's in Lafayette and DI's Restaurant in Basile. Zydeco, a hybrid of Afro-Caribbean folk, Cajun and blues, thrums in roadside dance halls throughout Plantation Country in the southeastern part of the state.
Jazz: The Native Language
From Louis Armstrong to Wynton Marsalis, everyone expresses the homegrown music of New Orleans a little differently, and many variations can be heard only in the Big Easy. In the French Quarter, listen to the street music of New Orleans brass bands, the sexy beat of Latin jazz, and the unusual rhythms of contemporary jazz. Experience jazz on the water with an excursion on the Steamboat Natchez with the Dukes of Dixieland. In the Crossroads region in the center of the state, Natchitoches hosts the annual Jazz and R&B Fest in April.
Rhythm & Blues: Noteworthy Legends
Fans of the renowned blues singer Huddie "LeadBelly" Ledbetter will want to pay their respects at his bronze statue in Shreveport, which is located in northern Louisiana in the Sportsman's Paradise region. Guitar Slim, Slim Harpo, Boogie Bill Webb and Lightnin' Slim also made their mark on Louisiana blues. Hear some new blues favorites at Tabby's Blues Box in Baton Rouge, Enoch's in Monroe and Tommy's in Shreveport. In New Orleans, stop by the House of Blues, Tipitina's and Ernie K-Doe's Mother-In-Law Lounge.
Country/Bluegrass: Louisiana's Honkytonk Style
Many country legends got their careers started in Shreveport, among them Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Dale Hawkins. Country music performers appear regularly at venues and festivals across the state—one to note is the Louisiana Folklife Festival in Monroe. You'll see all kinds of country music memorabilia at the Louisiana Country Music Museum in Marthaville. The North Louisiana Bluegrass Club at Homestead Acres, near Arcadia, always draws a music-loving crowd.
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