Celebrate New Orleans in Southern California with the music of Cajun & Zydeco, Jazz and Blues at the 21st Annual Long Beach Bayou Festival, June 22, 23 & 24th at the Rainbow Lagoon Park (next to the Long Beach Arena). This annual fundraiser for Comprehensive Child Development is California's longest running Cajun & Zydeco festival.
This year's jazz performers include: Legendary jazz vocalist Ernie Andrews, who has recorded over 20 albums and spent six years singing with the Harry James Orchestra. He recorded the jazz classic Big City" with Cannonball Adderley who noted on the album, when it comes down to the real nitty gritty, there's Ernie Andrews." Andrews discography also includes recordings with Lionel Hampton, Jay McShann, the Harper Brothers (Verve), and Kenny Burrell (Ellington Is Forever, Vols. I & 11), among others. He is featured in the award-winning documentary Ernie Andrews' Blues For Central Avenue. Jazz drummer, entrepreneur, Al Williams will perform with his Al Williams Jazz Society, a quintet of bebop specialists" also covering - blues, ballads, Latin rhythms and smooth jazz. Al Williams has performed or recorded with such jazz greats as Hampton Hawes, Teddy Edwards, Willie Bobo, Kenny Burrell, Eddie Harris and Roy Ayers as well as keeping time for Jimmy Witherspoon and Lowell Folsom. Williams opened the first jazz club in Long Beach, The Jazz Safari, later renamed Birdland West, and produced the 1st Annual Long Beach Jazz Festival. The New Orleans Traditional" Jazz Band with Musical Director, Dr. Louis Thomas and band leader Hilarion Domingue, lead the Second Line Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday and Sunday.
The Crown Prince of Zydeco," C.J. Chenier, (son of the late great King of Zydeco, Clifton Chenier), last played the Festival in 1997. C.J. will return to the Bayou Festival stage for a special performance on Sunday. Fourteen time CFMA winner, Kevin Naquin will perform his upbeat Cajun style music in the dance hall tradition. Louisiana Bayou country cowboy Geno Delafose brings dancers his contemporary upbeat Zydeco blended with the music of his Creole roots. Same Ol' 2 Step will perform with special guest Guyland Leday, the seven-year-old wunderkind who has been featured in an HBO documentary and is also the winner of Oscar Mayer's Sing the Jingle contest. On the blues side, the inimitable Candye Kane whose bluesy cabaret style honors the bold blues women of the past and has earned her a two decade career with several opening gigs for Etta James; and Mississippi blues guitarist, by way of Texas, Handy Award winner, Zac Harmon.
On the Cajun & Zydeco stage:
C.J. Chenier (Sunday), Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie (Sat/Sun.),
Kevin Naquin & the Ossum Playboys (Fri/Sat.),
Lee Benoit & the Bayou Stompers (Sat/Sun.),
Same Ol' 2 Step & Guyland Leday (Sat/Sun.),
Lil' Brian & the Zydeco Travelers (Sat/Sun.),
Terry & the Zydeco Bad Boys (Fri/Sat.)
Club N'Orleans Stage (Jazz & Blues) - Hosted by Blues Guitarist Bernie Pearl: Cafe R&B (Sat.), Zac Harmon (Sun.), Candye Kane (Sun.), Oscar Jordan Band (Fri.), Gregg Wright Blues Band (Fri.), Oozie Blues Show (Sat.), Al Williams Jazz Society (Sat.), Bobby Griffen (Sat.), Ernie Andrews (Sun.)
The Long Beach Bayou Festival is an all ages event and features continuous dancing on a large covered dance floor, colorful French Quarter cultural arts & crafts marketplace, delicious gumbo, Crawfish etouffee, hush puppies, red beans & rice and other mouthwatering Cajun & Creole delicacies; Music & Cultural workshops and rousing New Orleans at Nite celebration. Dancers who travel from festival to festival have made this one their annual stop. New dancers, young and old alike, can learn in quick and easy dance workshops taught by renowned instructors. Transplanted Louisianans can reunite with one another and enjoy the spirit of their home state Friday evening till the festival closes on Sunday night.
For tickets, location and information: www.longbeachfestival.com, or contact (562) 427-8834. All proceeds benefit Comprehensive Child Development a non-profit organization, now in its 22nd year providing childcare and education for children whose parents work or are in job training.