Battle of the Bows
Jennings competition celebrates strings and other things
The Battle of the Bows is a competition held in the small town of Jennings, Louisiana, which pits the best fiddle players in the area in a head to head competition to see who has the best string skills.
The Cajun Fiddle competition is put on by the SW LA Acoustic Cajun Music Jam and is judged by seasoned fiddle players.
According to Doug Dugas, president of SW LA, the event helps to preserve Cajun culture in Jennings by getting younger musicians interested in learning Cajun French.
Dugas is a Cajun musician who has been playing and promoting Cajun music for over 40 years.
“The younger musicians get interested in the language, because they want to understand what they’re singing about,” says Dugas. “They get to pair up with individuals who know how to speak Cajun French and learn it. The songs that we play are handed down from generation to generation, and tell about the good times and the hard times our ancestors went through.”
Some time ago, Dugas and his friends recognized the need for a jam session in the area when they realized local musicians were traveling up to an hour away to attend jam sessions.
That’s when they decided to start hosting a jam session every other Saturday in Jennings at Green's Café.
“Out of the jam evolved the Battle of the Bows Cajun Fiddle Competition,” says Dugas. “We thought it would be appropriate to have a Cajun fiddle competition judged by people with knowledge of how the Cajun fiddle should sound and be played. Jennings already had the Squeeze Box Shootout accordion contest, so we thought why not a Cajun fiddle competition?”
Each year the board of directors chooses a different local fiddle player to dedicate the competition to, and this year’s honoree is the late Varise Conner.
“Last year and the year before, there were so many fiddle players that came out and played his signature song ‘The Lake Arthur Stomp’ as their two-step,” says Dugas. “Fiddle players from around the world knew Mr. Varise Conner, and musicians would come from all over to play music with him in Lake Arthur, Louisiana.”
Initially, Dugas and his board were motivated to use the event to garner local youth interest in fiddle playing and the Cajun French language, but the talent they attracted was greater than they expected.
“The thing I like the most is seeing the youth play the hell out of that fiddle,” says Dugas. “Some of them make me never want to never pick up my fiddle again, because that’s how good they are. I also really enjoy hearing the different styles of fiddles playing from all of the contestants and watching the twin fiddle competition.”
Categories for the competition include youth, junior, senior, professional and twin fiddlers, all competing for $ 4,500 to be divided amongst the winners.
The competition is strictly limited to fiddles and while it is certainly a performance for those involved, camaraderie is weaved into the event.
“This competition is where you get to see up and coming fiddle players, as well as those players who have dusted off and come out of the closet so to speak,” says Dugas. “Win, lose or draw, musicians are one big family. You will see all of us at the jam helping one another out by teaching those who attend.”
The competition is open for anyone to come watch, and those who want to play can sign up as late as the day of the competition at 8:30 a.m., with the show starting at 9:00 a.m.
Players will come out one at a time to play a waltz, a two-step and compete for first, second or third place in their individual categories.
Contestants will be unaware of the judges’ whereabouts during the competition, because they will be hidden in the audience during the performance.
The jam will take place on Sat., Oct. 7 at 9 a.m., in the Jennings Strand Theatre, and the entry fee is $6 for seniors, $8 for adults and kids 12 and under get in free.
The competition is free to enter for all fiddle players.
For more information about the event, visit jeffdavis.org or call 337-821-5521.
- Friday Night Art at Broad Street, Fri., Oct. 6, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., Lake Charles
Friday Night SWLArt's newest monthly art market will kick off.
Artists will be downtown on Broad Street between Ryan and Bilbo, selling custom pieces and showcasing their new and upcoming works.
- Ogden Park Prowl 2017, Sat., Oct. 4, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Baton Rouge
"Your favorite neighborhood arts festival, The Ogden Park Prowl, is back."
The Ogden Park Prowl is a free neighborhood art festival in Mid City, Baton Rouge featuring local artists, live musicians, artisans and crafty people.
- Fall Fest, Sat., Oct. 7, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., Carencro
The event Facebook page says, this month's event will have a Fall Fest theme. A pumpkin carving demonstration will also be part of the Marketplace, so bring your pumpkins and carve your favorite design.
In addition, there will be a costume contest and prizes will be awarded.
There will also be gumbo fund raiser tickets for sale.
For information about the Marketplace, contact Carolyn Ward at 337-781-6428, firstname.lastname@example.org or Lisa Meche at 337-886-7011 email@example.com.
You can find original works of art, homemade jams, baked goods, soaps and other Louisiana made and grown items.
Stroll down the streets of downtown Carencro and enjoy the shops and eating venues that are available.
- eTown On The Road: Lafayette, Louisiana – ‘I Wanna Sing Right,’ Wed., Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Lafayette
eTown On The Road: Lafayette, LA – ‘I Wanna Sing Right’ – Rediscovering Lomax in the Evangeline Country.
More than just a regular concert, eTown is a unique live experience. Audience members will watch the eTown Broadcast recorded before their eyes, complete with performances and interviews with both of our visiting artists, as well as the eChievement Award segment, eTown's opportunity to honor everyday heroes who are doing their part to make the world a better place. You won't want to miss it!
Show Start: 7:00pm
Show End: 9:00pm