While many people know about the Cajuns journey from Nova Scotia to South Louisiana, many are unaware that certain present day Acadiana residents can trace their roots back to a region in the northwest of France, known as Brittany.
The festival will be hosted this Saturday in Scott, and will be a celebration of all things Brittany, with music, food and language lessons being offered throughout the day.
“Most Cajuns in this area don’t realize they have roots in Brittany," said Theriot. "There was a large pocket of Bretons that migrated with the Acadians because of the French Revolution. They were Catholic and were being killed in the revolution, so people assume they were Cajun, but they’re Celtic. This is a unique part of that history here that has never been told.”
In addition to showcasing the dance and music from the area, there will be workshops on the ties between the two regions, the Celtic language, taught through song, the origins of Cajun music and samplings of food from the area.
“There will be a lot of Cajun musicians wandering around the festival grounds, so it’s likely that music and dancing will break out,” said Theriot. “There will be a tent where you can go watch a chef make Kouign-Amann, which is a Celtic butter dish. We want to give people a taste of the area.”
There will be a workshop introducing the Breton’s Celtic language at the event, during which participants will be taught a song.
“It’s our way of introducing you to the language," said Theriot. "Breton is the second most spoken Celtic language in the world, and is considered one of the heritage Celtic languages of the world.”
In addition to music from local artists like Zach Fusilier & Friends and Troy LeJeune & Cajun Revue, there will also be music from international group, Breizh Amerika Collective, which brings together musicians from France, Brittany and the United States.
The collective includes award winning members like Alex Asher of New York, Simon Creachcadec, Tanguy Soubigou and Thomas Moisson of Brittany, Trey Boudreaux of Lafayette, Louisiana, and G. Maxwell Zemanovic, who resides between New Orleans, Los Angeles and New England.
Asher is known for his Grammy-award winning work with Beyoncé Knowles and for leading his band People’s Champs, a seven-piece band mixing experimental rock with African and Latin beats.
Creachcadec, has been performing for over 20 years and can be often be found playing with his band, Trio Ta, throughout France and abroad.
Soubigou has been playing Breton music since he was nine and has played in countries like Spain, Ireland, Switzerland and Portugal.
Moisson is a talented accordionist who grew up performing for Celtic dance groups at festivals across Brittany.
Boudreaux began playing upright bass and electric bass with local musicians throughout Louisiana and now tours and performs with a handful of young New Orleans-based projects.
Zemanovic has recently appeared on songwriter Andrew Duhon’s Grammy nominated release, "The Moorings," and has conducted percussion workshops throughout Australia, Asia and North America.
In addition to the ties between the nations that will be on display through the performance of Breizh Amerika Collective, there will also be workshops that highlight the ties between Brittany and Acadiana given by representatives from Breizh Amerika.
Scott will be the last stop on the organization’s statewide tour, which will make stops in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and in Lafayette at the Wurst Bier Garten on Friday leading up to the festival on Saturday.
Theriot says, “We work directly with the government of Brittany, because we want people in the area to think of it when they travel to France just like we want their Provence to think of Acadiana and not just New Orleans when they travel here.”
The festival will kick off with an Opening Ceremony at noon on May 20 and will last throughout the day until around 10 p.m.
For more information on the event or updates on the schedule, click here or call 337-298-9097.
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