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Zydeco Nation

Creoles migrate to the West Coast in search of freedom and opportunity, carrying their vibrant culture

Andrew Carriere and his band perform at Ashkenaz in Berkeley, CA.

Andrew Carriere and his band perform at Ashkenaz in Berkeley, Calif. — Photo by: John Noltner

This special hour-long documentary traces how the Louisiana Creole music known as zydeco found a new home 2,000 miles from its birthplace.

See also: Zydeco Nation slideshow explores music of Louisiana.


Independent producers Richard Ziglar and Barry Yeoman interviewed the people who migrated from Louisiana to California starting in World War II to escape the racial discrimination prevalent in the South and find jobs in the shipping and defense industries. Once in California, they worked hard to keep their culture alive, especially their musical traditions.
 
The musicians and dancers who undertook this migration tell their stories of rebuilding their lives and their community. And they talk about how younger musicians are transmitting zydeco to the next generation — in the hopes that Creole traditions will continue to thrive in California.

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