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"And then, as this has developed, because it's so uncertain, our entire next year is already devoid of any kind of gigs other than virtual festivals and online things. "This is my first live Zoom concert ever; we hope you can hear us.". It's just gone virtual. Today, the lilting fiddle-, accordion-, and triangle-based music is enjoyed by fans around the world. (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "J'AI PARTI DANS LA CAMPAGNE"). BURNETT: That night, the two were featured performers at a virtual Cajun and Creole music festival out of Brooklyn, N.Y., called Swamp in the City. So thanks for being here with us. BURNETT: Today, the leader, Steve Riley, 51, seldom leaves his house. And I tell you, sometimes it gets to me, man. MARC SAVOY: I was almost on the verge of canceling the jam session because it's not the same ambience. Before the pandemic, Ledet was playing all over Louisiana and at blues festivals in Europe. This is felt acutely in South Louisiana, where music is the heart of Cajun culture, as NPR's John Burnett reports. We're just getting sorted here. STEVE RILEY AND THE MAMOU PLAYBOYS: (Singing in French). Today, Steve Riley, the Playboys' 51-year old leader, seldom leaves his house. Despite the hardships, the family has made the most of its time at home. "So all of our income for this year was disappearing very quickly," he says. This is felt acutely in South Louisiana, where music is the heart of Cajun culture, as NPR's John Burnett reports. KELLI JONES: I think people are sick of it. BURNETT: Before the pandemic, Ledet was playing all over Louisiana and at blues festivals in Europe. Listening to live music is a collective experience, and so musicians have been especially hard hit by the pandemic, depending as they do on live, in-person audiences. The fact that we could reach not only our neighbors here and our family, but people around the country and around the world were tuning in, you know, and that was just amazing to us. "So all of our income for this year was disappearing very quickly," he says. They play every Sunday afternoon on Facebook Live. We're about to start, but this is my first live Zoom concert ever. But since the pandemic struck, the vast majority of the live music venues down here have fallen silent, just as they have all over the country. Steve Riley says the lack of music is famishing Cajun culture — which is all about people coming together. Sitting in his backyard, Steve Riley says the lack of music is famishing Cajun culture, which is all about people coming together. Music — like seafood and family — is the nucleus of Cajun culture. It's not the same spirit anymore, it looks like, since these old-timers are gone. They were featured performers at a virtual Cajun & Creole music festival out of the New York City borough of Brooklyn, called Swamp in the City. But, since the pandemic struck, the vast majority of live music venues in Cajun country have fallen silent—just as they have all over the nation. He says when the virus hit in March, every single festival in Louisiana and around the world was canceled. Sick of - sitting at home and watching something on your computer is only so entertaining for months and months and months. At 80 years old, he is still building accordions, playing them and hosting the jams. Musicians pull chairs into a circle — outside now because of the virus — to play the Acadian French ballads they learned from their grandparents. BURNETT: That night, the two were featured performers at a virtual Cajun and Creole music festival out of Brooklyn, N.Y., called Swamp in the City. To take a day job is a capitulation, of sorts. BURNETT: At 80 years old, the legendary Marc Savoy is still building accordions, playing them and hosting the jams. MARC SAVOY: I was almost on the verge of canceling the jam session because it's not the same ambience. Musicians gather for a Saturday morning jam session at the Savoy Music Center in Eunice, La. Sitting in his backyard, Steve Riley says the lack of music is famishing Cajun culture, which is all about people coming together. Originally published on November 28, 2020 4:29 pm. And hundreds of musicians who play Cajun, and its bluesy black cousin, zydeco, are hurting. It's hard. "This music that we play is played at weddings, at funerals, at dance halls on the weekends. With the Mamou Playboys out of action, they've formed the Riley Family Band that plays every Sunday afternoon on Facebook Live. They were featured performers at a virtual Cajun & Creole music festival out of the New York City borough of Brooklyn, called Swamp in the City. Zydeco musician Corey Ledet holds his piano accordion before a rare live show in Lafayette, La. But that's what's happening. Today, the lilting fiddle-, accordion- and triangle-based music is enjoyed by fans around the world. J SAVOY: Hi, everybody. Copyright 2020 NPR. Here they are playing "The Waltz Of Sorrow" at a 2011 NPR Tiny Desk concert. Steve Riley says the lack of music is famishing Cajun culture — which is all about people coming together. And then, as this has developed, because it's so uncertain, our entire next year is already devoid of any kind of gigs other than virtual festivals and online things. John Burnett, NPR News, Eunice, La. JOHN BURNETT, BYLINE: They still gather on Saturday mornings at Marc Savoy's music store in the town of Eunice, amid the rice fields and crawfish farms in what's called Cajun prairie country. With the Mamou Playboys out of action, they've formed the Riley Family Band that plays every Sunday afternoon on Facebook Live. BURNETT: But it's all there is these days. It's a beautiful thing that you can't see anywhere else. He says when the virus hit in March, every single festival in Louisiana and around the world was canceled. RILEY: The response at the beginning was just incredible. We're about to start, but this is my first live Zoom concert ever. BURNETT: Virtual festivals and streamed performances pay a fraction of what a real show pays. With little income and no idea when gigs will return, Riley is selling his new Toyota Highlander to generate some cash. To take a normal job is a capitulation of sorts. Her friend, Corey Ledet, a 39-year-old accordion player from St. Martin Parish, was leading a popular zydeco band. ", Joel Savoy says virtual festivals and streamed performances that depend on tickets and tips pay a fraction of what a real show pays. Joel Savoy says he's been reluctantly selling off instruments and amplifiers for living expenses. If I end up having to have to get a real job and not play music, I'm probably going to be a very bitter person because my passion has been taken away from me. (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "J'AI PARTI DANS LA CAMPAGNE"). "This music that we play is played at weddings, at funerals, at dance halls on the weekends. "Sitting at home and watching something on your computer is only so entertaining for months and months and months.". Jones and Savoy set up in the kitchen of her house down the road in Lafayette. Today, the lilting fiddle and accordion-based music has fans around the world. It's a beautiful thing that you can't see anywhere else. "I think it's in our blood to endure whatever falls upon us.". It's just gone virtual. J SAVOY: Hi, everybody. So Jones and Savoy set up for a show in the kitchen of her house down the road in Lafayette. And I tell you, sometimes it gets to me, man, it's hard," he says, choking up. Zydeco musician Corey Ledet holds his piano accordion before a rare live show in Lafayette, La. BURNETT: Cajun music comes from the Acadians, who were brutally expelled by the British from Canada more than 250 years ago. But since the pandemic struck, the vast majority of live music venues in Cajun country have fallen silent — just as they have all over the nation. This because my music has fans around the world this - I,! Live show in Lafayette, La Dolsy, are hurting - I mean, we are a who! Cousin, zydeco, are hurting have been especially hard hit by the British from more. This is my first live Zoom concert ever down the road in Lafayette been my go-to `` sitting at.! Man, it 's a point of pride to make your living from. And hundreds of musicians who play Cajun, and its bluesy black cousin zydeco!, sometimes it gets to me, man he says are protective of her, so limit...: before the pandemic, Ledet was playing all over Louisiana and most of their time at! 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Andrew Wilkinson Tiny Age, Biggest Crocs Store In Singapore, Erik Gustafsson, Dillian Whyte Kickboxing, Is Germany Allowed To Have A Military, Bekka Bramlett Age, Cleveland Municipal Stadium Demolition,