Nuits Cajun et Zydeco de Saulieu
2-5 august 2001

a report from Willem Versloot
photo's: Emile Waagenaar

  Saulieu...beau lieu

In a really beautiful little Bourgondeon town at the border of the national parc the "Morvan",  again the yearly C & Z festival took place, on initiative of Didier Lonjard, who  started the festival  on friday with his own band  "Lil' Didier & the Zarico Playboys".   

My compliments to Didier Lonjard c.s. because of very good organising!
On the central marketsquare (see  above)  a dance floor was made, and one could dance daily in the daytime and on sunday till late at night with live bands  like the infectious band of Roger Morand & Friends, and with  "Mousse Espagnole Cajun" and the "Balfa Tribute Band".   Lucky it was dry this year! (last year it rained so hard that the electricity broke down).   Round this square were hotels with good accomodation.
And the camping municipale was 500 meter outside of the town.  Here  you could meet several festival visitors again (not too early in the morning)  and there was jamming too  a.o. with Phil Underwood (Zig-a-Zag) and Will Pieters (ex-Cajun Company).   

J'etais au bal

Friday and saturday night there were concerts in the "halle polyvalente"  with a gigantic, smooth, egalised dance floor.   
This year mucho zydeco.  Didier's band (French),  Doc Zydeco (French, a modest but solid band),  Zydeco-Active (Brittish, a top attraction,  very tight rythm!)   and the  Zydeco Playboys (Germany).   

are you in the picture? 
Zydeco dancing  is something completely different from cajun dancing!  
You could it notice;  many Brittish, American and French dancers  had left the basics clearly behind them :  there were individually very different  styles and variations, without letting go of the basics.  Chapeau!
The Dutch are definitely behind,  (maybe by the lack of a dance culture, and by the missing of dance courses), but the pleasure of dancing compen- sated much.      


listening examples:

j'etais au bal

sugar bee

Johnny fait bien

Jo-El Sonnier   was the highlight (and the only band from Louisiana) of the festival.  This  cajun  routinier, who scored some  hits in the swamp-rock genre, had brought a  greasy,  heavy  rocking band with him, and this  determined the atmosphere. 
Despite some marvellous traditional cajun songs  (listen to J'etais au bal")  the concert became more and more (country-) rock,  the cause of bad faces of some puritein cajun lovers!  
For others it was much enjoyable:  the band performed with visible  pleasure, motivation and much energy.   
And  what a virtuoso on accordeon he is,  Jo-El Sonnier!   

Allons Danser........

As you can see on the photo on the right, the "freeze disease" is overwhelming:  when there is a blues or an other awkward (triplet feel)  rythm, and the dance floor is flooded by  dancers who enthousiastic dance a determined  pattern in all 4 directions,  neatly in a row, without a  partner!

On the same podia  Gary Hayman (the famous  "internet American" from ZydE Online Magazine)  gave  instructions of the zydeco dance basics:  "rest-hop-hop-hop-rest",
very good for zydeco dance dummies like yours truly, to master the very beginnings.  
 Gary's advice::  "What you may move,  your navel stays more or less  on the same place"    Is that clear? 


I wish we should have in Holland the opportunity to learn Zydeco dancing........
Isn't somewhere a potential Zydeco teacher?

Jos Du Pont
Joke van de Valk
Gavin Lewery &  Sue Warren
Jo-El Sonnier & fans 


Yvonne Fleur and yours truly
in front of the caravan of Emile Waagenaar,
with a  stand  of Emile's cajunphoto's.
Willem Versloot, 26-8-2001