Beausoleil 35th Anniversary Concert

When Michael Doucet avec son frère et ses amis founded Beausoleil in 1975, the Cajun renaissance was just getting underway, emerging from a dark period when speaking French was discouraged and the culture squashed in every possible way. Beausoleil played a key role in the revival, particularly in introducing Cajun music to new audiences worldwide, and 35 years later is an institution itself, generally and accurately regarded as the finest Cajun band in the land. Yet the pleasures of Beausoleil remain as raw and immediate as in '75, led by Doucet's soaring fiddle and wild vocals, bro David's scrambling guitar, Jimmy Breaux's pumping accordion, and the longtime percussion magic of Tommy Alesi and Billy Ware. Although Beausoleil was instrumental in keeping traditions alive, the band has long had a progressive streak, eager to mix things up. Now, on the occasion of that 35th anniversary, Beausoleil is on tour with Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, representing another endangered culture, New Orleans's Mardi Gras Indians, the African-American street phenomenon at the root of most Crescent City music. Boudreaux and a coterie of Mardi Gras Indians, in full beaded and befeathered regalia, will join Beausoleil for a "seated" (not likely with this infectious stuff) performance Saturday evening. Beausoleil will return to the Cedar Sunday afternoon for a Cajun dance, which is a fais do-do down on the bayou. (Photo by Kenneth Cooke)
Sat., Nov. 13, 7 p.m., 2010

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