Los Angeles area's largest Cajun and Blues festival, held over Memorial Day weekend, features two stages, a Mardi Gras parade, kids' stages, crafts and dozens of food booths
SIMI VALLEY, Calif.The 23rd annual Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Festival will rock over Memorial Day weekend, May 26-27, at Rancho Santa Susanna Community Park, 5005 Los Angeles Ave., in Simi Valley. The festival features two full stages for each of its musical genres. Music will proceed non-stop each day from 12 noon until 8 p.m. Tickets cost $20 (adults 13+) and $15 (children) are available online at http://www.cajun-blues.com or at the gate. Parking is ample and free. Fast-moving California Hwy. 118 can be taken to the Stearns Street exit.
The festival has its origins in Cajun and Zydeco music, and this year the Cajun and Zydeco Stage will feature Gator Beat, Bonne Musique Zydeco, Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble, Nathan & the Zydeco Cha-Chas, and Billy Lee & the Swamp Critters, among others. In a genre that defies standing still, the festival boasts the largest outdoor dance floor west of the Mississippi River. Dance instruction will be offered.
Musical headliners on the Blues Stage will include the Fabulous Thunderbirds featuring Kim Wilson; Candye Kane, flanked by guitarist Laura Chavez, in a rare Los Angeles area appearance; a Muddy Waters Tribute featuring blues legend James Cotton, Paul Oscher and other members of the Muddy Waters band, and Muddy's son Mud Morganfield; Rod Piazza & the West Coast Sheiks; Big Pete; Terry Hanck; Shawn Pittman; and the Mannish Boys with special guests. Oscher will also perform his own set. Certain to steal the spotlight will be next generation" Americana-influenced bluesman Nathan James & the Rhythm Scratchers, joined by James Harman. The festival's blues lineup was curated by Randy Chortkoff, founder of the respected L.A. blues label Delta Groove Records.
This family-friendly event boasts a huge kids' area with bouncers, rock walls. specialty acts, crafts and talent shows.
The festival boasts dozens of food booths featuring a variety of fare: authentic Cajun creations and Southern BBQ as well as multi-cultural cuisine. More than 100 craft booths and retailers will be scattered throughout the festival grounds.
SIMI VALLEY CAJUN & BLUES MUSIC FESTIVAL SCHEDULE, 2012
SATURDAY, MAY 26
CAJUN-ZYDECO STAGE 12:00pm Billy Lee & The Swamp Critters 1:30pm Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas 3:05pm Rosie Ledet 4:20pm Mardi Gras Parade 4:50pm Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble 6:25pm Gator Beat
BLUES STAGE 11:30am Paul Oscher 12:45 pm R.J. Mischo 1:50 pm Shawn Pittman 2:55pm The Mannish Boys with Special Guests Sugaray Rayford Smokin' Joe Kubek & Bnois King Marco Pondolfi Paul Size Jason Ricci 5:00pm Muddy Waters Tribute James Cotton Mud Morganfield Darrell Nulisch Bob Margolin Paul Oscher Johnny Dyer Bob Corritore 6:45pm Nathan James & The Rhythm Scratchers with Special Guest James Harman
SUNDAY, MAY 27
CAJUN-ZYDECO STAGE 12:00pm The Bayou Brothers 1:20pm Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas 2:50pm Gator Beat 4:00pm Mardi Gras Parade 4:30pm Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble 6:00pm Bonne Musique Zydeco
BLUES STAGE 11:30am The Mighty Mojo Prophets 12:15pm Mitch Kashmar with John Marx & Adrianna 1:25pm Terry Hanck 2:30pm Big Pete with special guest Paul Size 3:45pm Rod Piazza & The West Coast Sheiks featuring Junior Watson and special guests 5:15pm The Fabulous Thunderbirds 6:45pm Candye Kane