Cajun Music: Alive and Well in Louisiana

Cajun music has been alive and well in Louisiana for at least 200 years.

In fact, Cajun music is more popular in Louisiana than it is anywhere else because Cajun music originated in Louisiana and is ingrained in the state’s culture.

The state has so many talented Cajun performers that they’ve spread the popularity of the music to many other places inside and outside the U.S., including California, which will be the site of the 25th anniversary of the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival on Memorial Day Weekend in 2014.

Cajun music was created in the late 1700s by Cajuns, an ethnic group that spoke French and moved to Louisiana from a section of eastern Canada called Acadia. The music came from ballads sung by the Acadians and was first recorded in 1928. The music is so all encompassing that Cajun music can be divided into at least five subgenres — traditional Cajun, country and Texas swing Cajun, dance hall Cajun, Cajun renaissance, and contemporary Cajun music.

Today, Cajun music is particularly strong in rural Southern Louisiana, but it is also a key part of the New Orleans music scene and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Amazingly, Cajun music is also becoming more popular throughout the U.S. In fact, a Grammy award for the best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album was introduced in 2007 (Zydeco music blends Cajun music with blues, and rhythm and blues).

Today, numerous Cajun entertainers are “popular with contemporary audiences,” according to Wikipedia. They include groups like the Balfa Toujours, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, and the Pine Leaf Boys as well as individuals like Ray Abshire, Jason Frey, Cory McCauley, and Chris Miller.

Some of these contemporary performers might perform at the 25th anniversary of the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival in Simi Valley, Calif., on Memorial Day Weekend in 2014. Find out more about the festival here!