The Moniaive Folk Festival organisers have had something of a coup in grabbing a rare opportunity to book The Magnolia Sisters, a top Cajun band on a European tour, for a workshop, concert and dance on Sunday 20 July. They are coming hot-foot from the Hebridean Celtic Festival in Stornoway and the Sage in Gateshead, and are delaying flying out to Spain by one day in order to play in Moniaive!
Cajun music may not be familiar to everyone (it was largely unknown in Britain in the early 1980s when we were introduced to it by an American fiddle player in Lancaster), but is the traditional music of the French-speaking settlers in the Louisiana bayous. It came out of a collision between the music of French-Canadian migrants from Acadia (which is where the name comes from) and Creole culture coming up from the Caribbean. In the film ‘The Last Waltz’ no less a person than Levon Helm of The Band described this melting pot of cultures, along with jazz and the blues, as the start of a new music – rock and roll!
The Magnolia Sisters are an all-female band, and all are all highly regarded musicians in their homeland of Louisiana. Founder Ann Savoy is one of the most famous names in Cajun music today, both as a musician with her equally famous husband, accordion maker Marc Savoy, and as a leading authority on the history of the Cajun tradition, song and tune collector, and author of the groundbreaking book ‘Cajun Music: a Reflection of a People’. Her fellow musicians in the Magnolia Sisters – Jane Vidrine, Anya Burgess, Lisa Trahan – are equally talented musicians and steeped in the Cajun traditions. Their performances are described as:
“Cajun music that offers more than a few surprise. The Magnolia Sisters may be one of the only all-woman Cajun bands, but what distinguishes them most may be their repertoire, which includes not only seldom-heard dance tunes from Cajun and Creole tradition, but beautifully sung ballads that reveal a side of Cajun music not often heard these days.”
The children’s workshop will be free with a donations bowl. Concert and dance tickets without the supper £10/£7 concessions: tickets with-supper £14/£10 (family discounts available – please ask). The gumbo supper is not available without the event ticket, and will require advance booking so that we know catering numbers – this can be booked any time from now. For bookings and further information phone Alan/ Wendy on 01387 820241 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .