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St. Landry Parish is the home of Zydeco

Posted at 6:20 PM, Aug 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-30 19:21:05-04

St. Landry is the Zydeco Capital of the World, and the family of that genre are working to keep it that way.

Randall Jackson is a mostly self-taught Zydeco musician who is traveling the world, playing the music he loves.

"I was 12 years old when I started playing, mostly self taught," Jackson says.

He offered his talents as part of the Zydeco Capitol Jam, which happens the second Saturday of every month at the St. Landry Parish Tourist Center.

The jams are the brainchild of tourism director and Zydeco historian and enthusiast Herman Fuselier.

"If I had to settle on Zydeco in one place, it would be St Landry Parish. Just look at all the pioneers of the music that came from here. Amede Ardoin in the 1920's, Clifton Chenier, Terrance Simien, Rockin Sidney," Fuselier says. "This is where it all started, St. Landry Parish."

Fuselier says Zydeco is very much alive and well across the globe. He says it has transformed from the original la-la sound to more of a blues vibe, to now having an R&B, hip hop feel.

"We have to let young people interpert the music for themselves and when we do it, it means the music will keep going," Fuselier says.

That's exactly what Jackson says he is going to make happen - as his two-year-old son is watching him every step of the way.

"Zydeco is a part of who I am; it's part of my life. I want to pass that music down," he says.