Special Thanks

AARP Prime Time Radio is the distributor for Zydeco Nation. Fiscal sponsorship is provided by Deep Springs College and the International Documentary Association. This project was made possible with support from Cal Humanities, an independent non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information, visit www.calhum.org.

Deep Springs College

Mardi Gras at the 23 Club

Producer Richard Ziglar (standing) presents the Zydeco Nation web site at the 23 Club's annual Mardi Gras dance. Watching (from left) are Grammy-winning zydeco accordionist Queen Ida Guillory, dance organizer Betty LeBlanc, and producer Barry Yeoman. Photo by Mark Marcin.

What better time for Zydeco Nation’s public presentation than Mardi Gras weekend? On Sunday afternoon, producers Richard Ziglar and Barry Yeoman gave a demonstration at the 23 Club, an old cowboy bar in Brisbane, California where Betty LeBlanc hosts some of the best zydeco dances in the Bay Area. As 100 people (many of whom were part of the Creole migration from Louisiana) watched, we showed off the slideshow, the interactive map, and the audio/photo profiles of five people we interviewed. We were honored that among the viewers was the Grammy-winning zydeco accordionist Queen Ida Guillory.

Then the party began! Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic rocked the house as customers filled the dance floor. Betty LeBlanc and Charlmaigne Chavez-Thibodeaux ladled out bowls of sausage-and-chicken gumbo. There was a  parade, a king cake, and the crowning of Mardi Gras royalty. Many beads were thrown. We didn’t have a camera, but fortunately our friends in the zydeco community have generously lent us their photos. Enjoy the visual feast.

The crowning of the Mardi Gras king and queen. Photo by Julia Scott-Jackson.

Charlmaigne Chavez-Thibodeaux and Betty LeBlanc throw beads while Andre Thierry plays his accordion. Photo by Mark Marcin.

Stalwarts of the California zydeco community: Julia Scott-Jackson (left) and musicians Cheryl McBride and Jim Scott. Photo by Kim Criswell.

Dancers Lisa Mitchell and Lance Henry. Photo by Julia Scott-Jackson.

Betty LeBlanc and dance instructor Linda Francis throwing beads. Photo by Mark Marcin.

Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic. Photo by Julia Scott-Jackson.

Memorial for Lynda Yasuda, a popular dancer who passed away recently. Photo by Julia Scott-Jackson.

Wilbert Lewis, the longtime washboard player for his sister Queen Ida Guillory, flanked by Judy Tomsky and Leandra Swent. Photo by Julia Scott-Jackson.

Dancing the afternoon away at 23 Club. Photo by Julia Scott-Jackson.

Betty LeBlanc, Charlmaigne Chavez-Thibodeaux, and accordionist Mark Marcin of the Midnite Ramblers. Photo by Kim Criswell.

Andre Thierry has been playing at the 23 Club since he was about 11. Back then, he couldn't go near the bar. Photo by Mark Marcin.