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 Balfa Heritage Week
 2008 ● Nightly Dances
Overview of Dewey Balfa Cajun
and Creole Heritage Week

The 2008 Dewey Balfa Cajun and Creole Heritage Week was held April 18-24 at Chicot State Park. The daytime activities  were limited to the campers, but each evening members of the surrounding communities joined the campers for dances featuring top Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco bands. 

The Heritage Week, sponsored by Louisiana Folk Roots, is named in honor of the late Dewey Balfa, a phenomenal musician who played a key role in reviving and preserving the French cultures of Southwest Louisiana. For more information on the Balfa Heritage Week, go to the Louisiana Folk Roots web site.

Shown below are photos from each of the evening dances, plus the dance that started Sunday afternoon. Included are shots using a flash plus a few taken with available light. Click on thumbnails to access larger photos.

Photos of Roots Heritage Day, held Saturday, April 19, an event open to both campers and the community, are posted on a separate page.


Balfa Toujours, Friday, April 18 
Shown in the first row are Christine Balfa Powell, Dirk Powell, and Kevin Wimmer. Special guests Tony Balfa, Peter Schwarz, and Coz Fontenot are shown in the second row.



Sunday, April 20

Fricassée Cajun Band
Members are Henry Hample on fiddle, Robert Doucet on accordion, and Kirk Dugas on guitar.


Don Fontenot et Les Amis de la Louisiane
In the first row, Don Fontenot is shown on accordion with Mark Young on fiddle and Karl Deshotels on guitar. In the second row, the crowd is shown joining in as Mark Young sings the "Ride the Donkey."



Corey "Lil' Pop" Ledet and His Zydeco Band
Corey "Lil' Pop" Ledet is shown with Greg Potier on rubboard.



The Red Stick Ramblers
Members of the Red Stick Ramblers are Linzay Young (white shirt) and Kevin Wimmer, fiddle; Chas Justus, guitar; Glenn Fields, drums; Eric Frey, bass; with Blake Miller on accordion. Eric Fahey is shown playing harmonica on one number, and Ginny Hawker is shown doing vocals in another photo.



The Pine Leaf Boys, Monday, April 21
Wilson Savoy is on accordion and fiddle in the first row, Cedric Watson on fiddle, Drew Simon on accordion (Simon is the band's regular drummer). In the second row, Jon Bertrand is on guitar. Zydeco Joe Citizen is on rubboard. Guest musician Coz Fontenot is on harmonica in the third row. Blake Miller is on bass.

BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, Tuesday, April 22
Michael Doucet is shown on fiddle, with his brother, David, on guitar. Jimmy Breaux is on accordion.

Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, Wednesday, April 23

Members of the Mamou Playboys are Steve Riley and David Greely, shown in the first row; Sam Broussard, guitar; and visible in the background of wide shots, Brazos Huval on bass and Kevin Dugas on drums. The Playboys invited other musicians on stage to perform the music of the Balfa Brothers, including Tony Balfa, son of Rodney Balfa; Christine Balfa Powell, daughter of Dewey Balfa; Courtney Granger, grand nephew of Dewey; and Peter Schwarz, who, like Steve Riley, once performed with Dewey. Other guests included Megan Brown, who sang "Marie mouri," the poem by a Creole slave that David Greely set to music; and Briggs Brown.


Preston Frank, Keith Frank, and the Frank Family Band
Creole musician Preston Frank is shown with his family band. Others pictured include Julie Frank in the first row and Jennifer Frank and Keith Frank in the photo of the band in the second row.

Posted 6-23-08.

All photographs and text by David Simpson.

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