Zydeco Music and Dance with Jeffery Broussard and the Creole Cowboys, Nov 6, York, PA

By John Hope

Get your dancing shoes out
and get ready for a rockin’ good time when Jeffery Broussard and the Creole
Cowboys, a high-energy traditional Zydeco band, comes to York on Saturday,
November 6 for a concert and a Zydeco dance workshop. The event will be held at
the Agricultural and Industrial Museum, 217 Princess Street in York and is
sponsored by Susquehanna Folk Music Society.

The dance workshop begins at 2:30
and the concert at 4. Advance ticket sales are available at www.sfmsfolk.org.

During a dance workshop  Jeffery
Broussard will take you deep into Southwest Louisiana into the world of Zydeco
music and dancing. You will learn to Zydeco dance and waltz as it’s done by the
folks in Opelousas, Louisiana, the Zydeco capital of the World. Jeffery will
explain that it’s important to listen to the music while you dance in order to
match your dancing steps to the beat. You will learn the basic Zydeco step, the
position, the subtle weight shifts and the push and pull of your partner.
Zydeco dancing is easy and fun.

When Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys
begin to play, you’ll be ready to join in the fun of Zydeco dancing. Laissez
les bon temps rouler! Let the Good Times Roll!This is “couple
dancing” but you don’t need to come with a partner. In Zydeco dancing it’s
typical for people to change partners after each song, so even if we have a
gender imbalance during the workshop, everyone will get a chance to dance.

One
of the most influential accordionists and vocalists in modern Zydeco music,
Jeffery Broussard played a number of forms of Zydeco music before returning to
the more traditional sound with his band, the Creole Cowboys. He started
playing drums at age 8 in his father’s band—Delton Broussard and the Lawtell
Playboys. He left school after seventh grade to help his family farm make ends
meet. But whenever he could, he’d sneak into the house to get his father’s
accordion out of the closet and teach himself to play it.During his teen years,
Broussard played drums in his oldest brother’s band, Clinton Broussard and the
Zydeco Machines. It was then that Jeffery played accordion in public for the
first time when his brother let him play a few songs. He was too shy to speak
or sing, however, and it wasn’t until he joined the band Zydeco Force that he began
singing on stage.

Observers say it is quite possible that without the struggle
and hard times that Broussard has experienced in life, he would not play and
sing with the emotion and soul that he expresses. Broussard himself says that
music is in his genes and blood as a gift that God gave him to pass on. “I do
it because it’s something that I enjoy,” he says. “I do it to make people
happy, and myself. I don’t want our traditions to die. I don’t only play music
just to play. I play from my heart. Half of the time when I’m playing, it’s
like my hands leave my body. I don’t even know what I am playing. Any songs
that I play, I add what I think will make the melody more beautiful. There is a
lot of me that goes into the music that I play.”Realizing that there are only
five Creole fiddlers left, Broussard has started to play the fiddle as part of
his determination to keep the traditional music alive. “By playing traditional
music, that is my way of giving back to my community, to my culture, and to get
others interested in the music, in other parts of the country, and to fulfill
my daddy’s dream,” he says.

Concert tickets are $20 General Admission, $16 for
SFMS members, and $10 for students ages 3-22. Zydeco Dance Workshop tickets are
all $10 general admission. Advance tickets are available through Brown Paper
Tickets at (800) 838-3006 or online at http://www.BrownPaperTickets.com. This event is
part of a series made possible by a grant from the Pennsylvania Humanities
Council and is presented in collaboration with the York County Convention &
Visitors Bureau and the York County Heritage Trust. It also is made possible in
part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. SFMS is supported by
a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, administered locally by the
Cultural Alliance of York County.

For more information, visit the Susquehanna
Folk Music Society web site at http://www.sfmsfolk.org

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