Doors at 7:30 pm; Cajun/Zydeco dance lesson at 8:00 pm; Mardi Gras parade, followed by Aux Cajunals at 8:30 — Tri Trip Trio at about 10:15
Tickets are $15
Celebrate Fat Tuesday by dancing to the Cajun and zydeco music of 2 great bands, the Tri Tip Trio and the Aux Cajunals! We will all join with the City of Berkeley to recognize and celebrate Queen Ida for her world-wide contributions to Cajun-Creole and zydeco music, adding to her many honors which include a Grammy and the National Heritage Fellowship award. Queen Ida plans to be present, but she will not be performing.
Dance lesson at 8, followed by a Mardi Gras parade at 8:30, when the Aux Cajunals take the stage for a long set of old-fashioned Cajun-Creole two steps, waltzes and blues, then the Tri Trip Trio will top it off with a rocking set of zydeco and R&B. The Queen Ida honors will take place during the first half of the evening.
There will be many special guests!
Costumes, masks and Mardi Gras beads are encouraged!
Suzy Thompson fiddles up a storm, and brings the Cajun and Creole songs to life with her powerful vocals. Eric Thompson's acoustic rhythm guitar chops keep the dancers up and hopping, and in the big band, his lead guitar playing gives a bluesy edge to the zydeco and R&B numbers. Agi Ban plays lead fiddle while Suzy plays accordion and her fiddle duets with Suzy are truly show-stoppers. Recently, Allegra Thompson (daughter of Eric and Suzy) has added her strong lead singing and solid upright bass playing to anchor the sound of the band. Special guest Mark Marcinwill add his solid accordion chops to the Aux Cajunals, allowing Suzy to really cut loose on the fiddle.
TRI TIP TRIO
Steeped in Louisiana and New Orleans zydeco and swamp blues, Tri Tip Trio comes with a vision and nearly a generation of its members playing together in other groups. The Tri Tip Trio concept is based on “King of Zydeco” Clifton and his brother Cleveland Chenier’s early zydeco/blues dance hall sounds. Lloyd Meadows’ propulsive washboard and harmonica and soulful vocals, along with Bruce Gordon’s pumping accordion and Louie Rodriguez’s rock-solid drumming, are all Tri Tip Trio needs to capture raw and exciting sounds for both dancers and listeners. The three musical musketeers play classic zydeco, blues, and New Orleans funk as well as band originals. They also like to integrate cover tunes that were never originally zydeco songs into their sound. The group’s CD, “3 of a Kind,” is a tribute to Clifton Chenier and includes a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Miss You” alongside original and traditional tunes.
Gordon and Meadows are longtime Bay Area blues and zydeco veterans. They have shared the stage for many years, performing in the Zydeco Flames, a band Meadows and Gordon co-founded in 1991. The members have had varied and extensive careers on their own, playing with a who’s who of local and national talent, including Elvin Bishop, Tom Rigney, Annie Sampson, Mal Sharpe, Brenda Boykin, Chris Cain, Luther Tucker, and Sonny Rhodes.