Doors at 7:30 pm; Cajun/Zydeco Dance Lesson with Cheryl McBrideat 8 pm; Show at 8:30 pm
Tickets are $12
We are always honored to turn the Ashkenaz stage over to the great Louisiana Cajun-zydeco musician Andrew Carriere in his various bands, but tonight has an added quality: it’s his birthday and we’re celebrating Louisiana style! CZ & the Bon Vivants serve as house band for the night, with an array of guests. As Bon Vivants fiddler Catherine Matovich explains, “Come celebrate the _0th Birthday of our Master Partier and Musician: Andrew Carriere, who has played with a multitude of Bay Area bands, many of whose members will join us: Creole Belles, Sauce Piquante, California Cajun Orchestra, Andrew's All -Stars, Wild Catahoulas, Midnite Ramblers...the list is long. An Ashkenaz fixture, a complete Louisiana original - Andrew Carriere is our headliner. Presents will NOT be refused. Your presence especially!”
A native of Southern Louisiana, accordionist and singerAndrew Carriere brings a long family tradition into his playing. His father was the legendary Creole fiddler “Bebe” Carriere, his uncle was accordionist Eraste Carriere, and cousins Chubby, Calvin, and Roy Carrier are popular in the zydeco arena. Carriere moved to the Bay Area in the ’60s, learned accordion from the late Danny Poullard, and is featured vocalist on the California Cajun Orchestra’s “Not Lonesome Anymore” CD. He performs regularly with his Zydeco-Cajun Allstars as well as the Creole Belles and CZ & the Bon Vivants, and more occasionally in a number of other bands.
A hot band of Cajun/zydeco veterans, CZ & the Bon Vivants dish out classic Cajun dance tunes and originals. Along with singer and fiddler Catherine Matovich (whose day job is playing with symphony orchestras), the Bon Vivants are Lake Charles, Louisiana, native and East Bay great Andrew Carriere on accordion, guitarist Jim Scott, bassist Elaine Herrick, and drummer Timothy Orr. Over the last few years they’ve appeared frequently on the festival and outdoor event circuit – from downtown Oakland to the Solano Stroll, the Kaiser Rooftop concert series to Bay cruises – and at many a Bay Area dance hall. And India may be the next stop. The band’s CD, “Good to the Bon,” has been used as a tool for teaching world music at the American School in New Delhi; CZ has an international fan base as a result.
The group was born when Matovich got home after playing in Neil Diamond’s touring band and saw a concert by Cajun/zydeco fiddler Tom Rigney. “I loved working big shows, but seeing Tom’s band made me want to be in a group like that, that had so much fun playing together.” The Bon Vivants came together to play a benefit concert in 2004, “and we’ve been busy ever since,” Matovich says. Nobody could agree on a group name, so eventually they were dubbed the Cajun Babes (after the Dixie Chicks), and through democratic process came up with the current group moniker, although there is no CZ. Just high-energy Cajun and zydeco music.