UL Lafayette - Festivals Acadiens et Créoles 40th Anniversary Collaboration

This year, Festivals Acadiens et Créoles celebrates its fortieth anniversary. The 1974 Tribute to Cajun Music was the brainchild of Cajun fiddler Dewey Balfa, who had first performed at the Newport Folk Festival ten years before in 1964, an experience that propelled him on a career of cultural ambassadorship. The presence of Cajun music at Newport resulted in turn from the urging of Alan Lomax, who was a member of the Newport board of directors and who had, in 1934 at the age of 19, traveled to south Louisiana with his father John and recorded several Cajun and Creole francophone musicians and singers for the Library of Congress.

To commemorate of all these events and with the help of an Art Works grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, Festivals Acadiens et Créoles and UL Lafayette are working together on a number of special projects, including

  • A conference and concert on Thursday, October 9 (program below)
  • A special exhibit of photographs, posters, and memorabilia in the A. Hays Town Building at the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum, open September 19 through October 12
  • A catalog of the exhibit published by UL Lafayette Press and available for sale at the festival
  • A special Anniversary Stage on the grounds of the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum on Saturday and Sunday of the festival, October 11 & 12
  • A commemorative CD of select recordings from the 1934 Lomax collection paired with performances of those same songs at past editions of Festivals Acadiens et Créoles, produced by the Center for Louisiana Studies at UL Lafayette

For more information on this collaboration, see the university's press release.


Anniversaries 40 - 50 - 80:
Festivals Acadiens et Creoles, Dewey Balfa at Newport, and Alan Lomax in Louisiana

Thursday, October 9, 2014
UL Lafayette
Hamilton Hall Auditorium (Room 108)
611 McKinley Street, Lafayette, LA

9:00 AM - 9:45 AM Themes of Cultural Conservation, Creolization and Modernization in the Work of Alan Lomax and Ralph Rinzler

Nick Spitzer, keynote

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM Academic and Journalistic Perspectives on Festivals Acadiens et Creoles

Mark DeWitt (moderator), University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Barry Ancelet, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Josh Caffery, Indiana University
Nathan Salsburg, Association for Cultural Equity
Ben Sandmel, writer and folklorist
Nick Spitzer, Tulane University

1:30 PM - 2:15 PM The History of Festivals Acadiens et Créoles

Barry Ancelet, keynote

With personal observations by Keith Cravey

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM Musicians and Family Members Reflect on the Festival

Pat Mould, moderator

Christine Balfa
Michael Doucet
Lawrence Ardoin
Gary Newman
Ann Savoy


From Field to Stage: “Songs from the Lomax Collection” Concert

Thursday, October 9, 2014
UL Lafayette
Angelle Hall Auditorium
601 East Saint Mary Boulevard, Lafayette, LA
7:00 PM

Barry Jean Ancelet, Master of Ceremonies

BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet
Jeffery Broussard and Family
Kristi Guillory, Megan Brown, and Blake Miller (a cappella trio)
Feufollet with special guests Josh Caffery, Ashley Hayes, and Joel Savoy


The mission of the Dr. Tommy Comeaux Endowed Chair in Traditional Music at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is to stimulate interdisciplinary research on the foundations and diversity of traditional music worldwide and to advance the preservation, instruction, and performance of traditional music with an emphasis on traditions that have developed in Acadiana. The program began in the Fall of 2010. It is now possible to earn a B.A. in Music with a concentration in Traditional Music as well as a Music Minor with a Traditional Music emphasis. New classes and programs continue to be developed with involvement from musicians in the community.

New B.A. in Music with a Concentration in Traditional Music

Visit the UL Lafayette and School of Music websites to learn about the Traditional Music Curriculum.

For more information, please contact:

Mark DeWitt
337-482-1020337-482-1020
dewitt@louisiana.edu