The East Bay Regional Park District’s annual Cajun/Zydeco festival returns to Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont on Saturday, August 16. Bring family and friends for a day filled with the best Cajun/Zydeco music, dancing, delicious Cajun and Creole cuisine and other festival food favorites. Tour the farm, visit the farm animals, shop specialty vendors and join in dance lessons. Our 18th annual festival features Grammy nominee Lisa Haley & the Zydecats, T ‘Monde, Bay Area favorite Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic, and the Zydeco Flames. Gates open at 10 a.m.; dance lessons start at 10:30 a.m. with live music from 11 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.
Enjoy the day at Ardenwood Historic Farm surrounded by fields of organic produce, farm animals, and the historic Patterson House Museum. Stroll shaded pathways or take the train from the entrance to the festival site. Bring a blanket, low-back lawn chair, sunblock, and hat. Low canopies welcome in the back or side areas (please be courteous and do not block views of the stage). Wear your dancing shoes! Please purchase beverages inside festival. Fabulous food will also be available for purchase. NO PETS allowed.
Proceeds benefit Parks Express Transportation, a District outreach program for schools and groups that serve children from low-income families, seniors, and people with disabilities visiting the East Bay Regional Parks. Additional donations welcome.
Lisa Haley & the Zydekats have played around the world to sold out crowds. Grammy nominee Lisa Haley is a fourth-generation fiddler, as well as a vocalist and songwriter who serves up Louisiana Bayou, French Celtic, R&B and Jazz rhythms. She has performed with Queen Ida, Randy Newman, Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, Joe Simien and Dave Koz just to name a few. "Lisa has the Spirit in her, big time...Her music just plain grabs you and takes you over!" said Keb'Mo', multi-Grammy winner, and co-producer of Lisa's album "Talking to the Sun."
Michael Lucas of the Los Angeles Times wrote in a review, "...a pop approach to Louisiana spice...one-of-a-kind cornbread voice...ala the bluesy moans of Janis Joplin..." Their latest album, “Joy Ride,” is the third album to reach the Billboard charts. The Zydekats include Lisa Haley (violin and vocals), David Fraser (accordion, keyboards, and harmonica), Cam Tyler (drums, percussion and vocals) and Andy Anders (bass and vocals).
T’ Monde - meaning "little world" - began playing together in early 2011. Steeped in traditionalism, T' Monde plays Cajun music ranging from the early 1900s to present day. T' Monde brings you rocking two steps, beautiful harmonies, sorrowful waltzes, and heartfelt blues. Their debut album, “Making Believe” features the band’s special dynamic of different musical styles, soulful singing, and musicianship. Members Drew Simon (accordion and vocals), Megan Brown (guitar and vocals), and Kelli Jones-Savoy (fiddle and vocals) are seasoned musicians and have played with many renowned Cajun bands including the Pine Leaf Boys, the Savoy Family band, the Magnolia Sisters, and Steve Riley and the Mamou.
The Zydeco Flames are one of the top Zydeco bands on the West Coast. Their sizzling roots rhythms are timeless and the execution of them relentless, with a stunningly powerful groove. The Flames’ sixth CD release “Fire It Up,” provides fans with hot Zydeco in the tradition of masters like Clifton Chenier, Buckwheat Zydeco and Queen Ida. The band features Lloyd Meadows (vocals, rub-board and harmonica), Frank Bohan (guitar), Bruce Gordon (accordion), Timm Walker (bass and vocals), and William Alums, Jr. (drums).
Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic has been a crowd favorite with their blend of traditional Zydeco music, hip-hop, blues, jazz and rock. While Andre Thierry was born in Richmond, California, his family roots were from Louisiana. His grandfather, Houston Pitre, encouraged Thierry to take up the accordion after a visit from the “King of Zydeco,” legend Clifton Chenier. By age 12, Thierry had formed Zydeco Magic and was performing alongside bands visiting from Louisiana. He and his band, Zydeco Magic, lay down both soulful, traditional slow dances and energetic, kinetic groovers.
Ardenwood Historic Farm is located on Ardenwood Boulevard just north of Highway 84 (Dumbarton Expressway) in Fremont. Directions: In Fremont, exit Highway 84 at Ardenwood/Newark Boulevard. Go north on Ardenwood Boulevard. The entrance is just north of Highway 84 on the right.
Advance tickets: $20 for adults, $5 for youth (ages 4 – 15 years). Advance tickets can be purchased through August 11 at 1-888-EBPARKS (888-327-2757), option 2 or online at EBParks.org/Register. Day of event tickets: $24 for adults, $7 youth (ages 4 – 15 years). 3 years and under free. Free parking.
The 18th Annual Cajun Zydeco Festival is presented by the East Bay Regional Park District.