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Toggle Content ZOL Today in History
One day like today...
1930
Wilson Anthony "Boozoo" Chavis, famed zydeco accordionist was born on October 23, 1930 in the small town of Church Point, Louisiana.

1918
Highly respected creole fiddler Canray Fontenot was born October 23, 1918, in d l'Anse des Rougeaux, Louisiana (an unincorporated community outside Eunice, Louisiana). His family was originally from the Duralde area, where his father worked as a sharecropper and cane cutter.He began playing the fiddle at the age of nine. "So, we took some cigar boxes," he said. "In those days, cigar boxes were made of wood. So, we worked at it and finally made ourselves a fiddle. For our strings, we had no real strings ... we took strands off the screen door. We made fiddles out of that stuff, and then we started practicing." He began playing with his father, Adam Fontenot, at area dances and weddings. He also played second fiddle to Amédé Ardoin, who often played together with his father. Amédé Ardoin and Adam Fontenot are considered the most influential black Creole accordion players of their generation. After his father's death, Fontenot began playing with Alphonse "Bois Sec" Ardoin, an accordionist from nearby Duralde, Louisiana. Fontenot and Ardoin played together for more than 40 years, making recordings and performing across the United States and abroad. Together, and separately, Canray Fontenot and Alphonse "Bois Sec"Ardoin were widely acclaimed. Fontenot's fiddle technique was legendary; his loose, Caribbean-style bowing was extraordinary. Over the course of his life, Fontenot mastered the traditional black Creole repertoire, but also created a new form—his self-titled "blues-waltzes," combining blues tonalities, jazz improvisation, and Cajun modal scales into a music all his own. In 1986, Canray Fontenot was awarded the prestigious National Heritage Award from the National Endowment for the Arts for folk music, the nation's highest award for musicians.

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    Toggle Content What is Zydeco?
    Zydeco Music is a unique form of musical expression that originated in rural southwest Louisiana. Locally known as "la la" music, Zydeco music was formed and forged in a time best forgotten--a time when African-Americans had to struggle in the fields from sunup to sundown as sharecroppers so that their children might reap a better life.

    It was these backbreaking hard times that help to define one of the most vibrant and successful musical traditions in the world. The phrase "Zydeco sont pas sale'" means "The snapbeans are not Salty" in Creole French, and the music draws upon French, Creole, West African, Cajun, Caribbean, and R & B musical traditions. Zydeco Music is characterized by the use of the accordion, spoons, scrubboard, fiddle and triangle.
    --ZydecoOnline.com--

    Toggle Content Today in Zydeco History
    One day like today...
    1930
    Wilson Anthony "Boozoo" Chavis, famed zydeco accordionist was born on October 23, 1930 in the small town of Church Point, Louisiana.

    1918
    Highly respected creole fiddler Canray Fontenot was born October 23, 1918, in d l'Anse des Rougeaux, Louisiana (an unincorporated community outside Eunice, Louisiana). His family was originally from the Duralde area, where his father worked as a sharecropper and cane cutter.He began playing the fiddle at the age of nine. "So, we took some cigar boxes," he said. "In those days, cigar boxes were made of wood. So, we worked at it and finally made ourselves a fiddle. For our strings, we had no real strings ... we took strands off the screen door. We made fiddles out of that stuff, and then we started practicing." He began playing with his father, Adam Fontenot, at area dances and weddings. He also played second fiddle to Amédé Ardoin, who often played together with his father. Amédé Ardoin and Adam Fontenot are considered the most influential black Creole accordion players of their generation. After his father's death, Fontenot began playing with Alphonse "Bois Sec" Ardoin, an accordionist from nearby Duralde, Louisiana. Fontenot and Ardoin played together for more than 40 years, making recordings and performing across the United States and abroad. Together, and separately, Canray Fontenot and Alphonse "Bois Sec"Ardoin were widely acclaimed. Fontenot's fiddle technique was legendary; his loose, Caribbean-style bowing was extraordinary. Over the course of his life, Fontenot mastered the traditional black Creole repertoire, but also created a new form—his self-titled "blues-waltzes," combining blues tonalities, jazz improvisation, and Cajun modal scales into a music all his own. In 1986, Canray Fontenot was awarded the prestigious National Heritage Award from the National Endowment for the Arts for folk music, the nation's highest award for musicians.

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