Home News Local news Zydeco Music Takes the Stage March 22 at St. John Blues Festival

Zydeco Music Takes the Stage March 22 at St. John Blues Festival


March 3, 2008 — Five days of St. John Blues Festival events have a concert in the Coral Bay Ballfield as their centerpiece, featuring zydeco artists from southern Louisiana.
"It's probably the single greatest evening of entertainment throughout the year," said organizer Steve Simon. The concert starts at 7 p.m. March 22, but the gates open at 6 p.m.
This year's festival showcases Cajun musicwith three of the four "major celebrities" at the festival from New Orleans, Simon said. The concert stars Tab Benoit, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, Waylon Thibodeaux, and Sean Carney and the Sean Carney Band.
Advance tickets are $25. At the gate, they run $30. Children under 18 get in free. Tickets are available at Connections in Cruz Bay and Coral Bay and Chelsea Drugs, all on St. John. On St. Thomas, buy tickets at Modern Music in Havensight and Chelsea Drugs in Red Hook.
Safari buses will head back and forth to Cruz Bay all night long. The fee is $5. Late ferries will run from Cruz Bay to Red Hook, St. Thomas, at midnight and 1 a.m.
Bring a blanket or a chair, but coolers are not allowed. Food and beverage will be for sale. The Rotary Club of St. John will sell beverages. West Indian food will be offered by the John's Folly Learning Institute and Sheila's Pot, with Mathayom Private Chefs cooking cuisine to match the music.
"He'll do real Cajun food," Simon said.
Benoit is a recording artist who remains true to his Cajun roots. Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band play zydeco music, with Waylon Thibodeaux playing a mixture of Louisiana-based music. Sean Carney and the Sean Carney Band was the winner of the 23rd annual Blues Challenge in Memphis.
The festivities kick off March 19 with an opening party at the Beach Bar in Wharfside Village. It starts at 8 p.m. and admission is free. The party features Reverend Raven and the Chain Smoking Altar Boys.
On March 20, Reverend Raven and the Chain Smoking Altar Boys will play on Bluesday in Coral Bay at the Aqua Bistro Café. The performance begins at 8 p.m. with free admission.
Danny Draher and Mitch Woods play at the One Night to Go Party at Shipwreck Landing outside Coral Bay. The entertainment begins at 8 p.m. with free admission.
The Blues Festival wraps up March 23 with a closing party at the Beach Bar in Cruz Bay. It runs from 4 to 7:30 p.m. with "surprise artists." Admission is free.
Most of the proceeds from the Blues Festival will go to the Voice of the Wetlands to help Benoit's efforts to put a stop to the dramatic loss of Louisiana's wetlands.
"A football-field length of wetlands is disappearing every 30 minutes," Simon said.
The loss of the protective wetlands puts the area at risk from hurricanes. Additionally, the wetlands loss has a huge economic impact on the region.
"The seafood industry will be brought to its knees," Simon said.
The Rotary Club will keep 75 percent of its proceeds, he said. John's Folly Learning Institute will retain 100 percent of its food proceeds, with Sheila's Pot and Mathayom making a donation to Voice of the Wetlands.
Sponsors of the event are the Lumberyard shopping complex, Merchants Commercial Bank, Coors Light, Theodore Tunick and Co., Holiday Homes, First Bank, The Inn at Tamarind Court, Shipwreck Landing Restaurant, Aqua Bistro Restaurant, Sunny FM, Isle 95, the V.I. Tourism Department, and Steve and Helen Simon.
For more information, visit stjohnbluesfestival.com.
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