Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs
An Appalachian Summer Festival Appalachian State University PO Box 32045 Boone, NC 28608-2045 828-262-6084 (ph) 828-262-2848 (fax) May 15, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information Contact: Megan Hayes, Marketing Director, 828-262-6084 x104 To download high-resolution images, visit www.appsummer.org/media.
Buckwheat Zydeco Brings Sounds of the Bayou to An Appalachian Summer Festival on July 11
BOONE, NC— An Appalachian Summer Festival brings the Bayou back to Boone with Buckwheat Zydeco’s return performance to the festival stage at Appalachian State University’s Farthing Auditorium on Saturday, July 11 at 8pm. This performance is a SkyBest Mainstage Series event on the Schaefer Popular Series, with additional sponsorship provided by McDonald’s of Boone. Buckwheat Zydeco’s trailblazing sound incorporates soul, blues and southwestern Louisiana’s Creole French zydeco music. The band comes from a land of rich cultures and heady influences, and they’ve taken their music to an unprecedented and ever-expanding number of international venues. Proud to be one of these venues, An Appalachian Summer Festival first presented Buckwheat Zydeco in 2006, and welcomes the band back to its stage for the festival’s 25th Anniversary Season. Hailing from Lafayette, Louisiana, Stanley ―Buckwheat‖ Dural Jr. describes his hometown as ―a closeknit community where many black people express their Creole heritage by speaking French, and by playing and dancing to zydeco.‖ This hybrid genre blends Afro-Caribbean rhythms with blues, soul, rock, country and the French-rooted Cajun music of the Creoles’ white neighbors. The son of a zydeco accordionist, Buckwheat grew up steeped in this culture, absorbing Lafayette’s prodigious output of blues and Gulf Coast ―swamp pop.‖ His stellar career spans decades of critical acclaim, and he has headlined major venues; collaborated with a who’s who of musicians from Eric Clapton to Mavis Staples, and made numerous television appearances, including The Late Show with David Letterman and NBC’s Today show. He was the first zydeco artist signed to a major record label, the first to perform on a national television show, first to launch his own record label, and the first zydeco artist to win an Emmy award. His latest release, Jackpot, was well received by critics and fans alike. This well-known trailblazer on the zydeco scene has taken the Louisiana native’s Creole-French genre to new heights worldwide, building a stellar career with unsurpassed artistry and tireless touring. Buckwheat began his professional career as an R&B sideman until 1971 when he began leading his own R&B band, Buckwheat and the Hitch-hikers, playing the contemporary sounds of popular bands as Parliament Funkadelic and Earth, Wind & Fire. The group scored a regional hit with It’s Hard to Get. -MORE-
Buckwheat Zydeco at An Appalachian Summer Festival Page 2 of 2
By the mid-70s, zydeco and Cajun music experienced a grassroots cultural renaissance and gained appreciation as a treasured cultural resource. As demand grew, Dural was offered a gig playing organ and piano with the King of Zydeco himself, the late, great Clifton Chenier. After three years of touring, recording and accordion apprenticeship, he left in 1979 to lead his own group, Buckwheat Zydeco and the Ils Sont Partis Band. Like Chenier, Buckwheat has continued to blend traditional Creole zydeco with the latest black-contemporary styles, drawing on all of his rich and varied musical experience. Buckwheat has toured constantly since1987, headlining major venues, sharing the bill with Wynton Marsalis, Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill, Little Richard and Gloria Estefan and sharing the stage with U2, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Willie Nelson and Dwight Yoakam. He performed at both of President Clinton’s inaugurations and at the closing ceremonies of the Atlanta Summer Olympics. In 1998, he was a featured guest with The Boston Pops - which performed its own orchestrated versions of several Buckwheat Zydeco numbers. Combining his soulful tunes, his mastery of the piano accordion, and his trademark exuberance, Dural has become the world’s best-loved zydeco artist, and has earned Buckwheat Zydeco fame as ―the world’s greatest party band.‖ In addition to the Buckwhweat Zydeco performance on July 11, the festival hosts a full slate of the finest artistic talent between June 27 and July 25, including the Eastern Festival Orchestra with Sarah Chang, violin (July 12) and Horatio Gutierrez, piano (July 19); Joan Baez (July 23); the Halpert Biennial, a national juried competition and exhibition; Pilobolus Dance Theater (July 7); Melissa Manchester (July 2); Paula Poundstone (July 17); the Broyhill Chamber Ensemble Concert Series (June 28, July 1, 6, 15 and 20); Triad Stage’s production of Oleanna (July 21 and 22); Mike Cross (July 18); the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra Pops (June 30); the 23rd Annual Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition; Paul Taylor Dance (July 14) ―Dinner and a Show at Westglow” featuring Sophie B. Hawkins (July 5); films, lectures, workshops and several special events, including a history party, Family Day at the Turchin Center and a spectacular silent auction. An Appalachian Summer Festival’s success is due in large part to generous support from loyal private donors, as well as a dedicated group of corporate and media sponsors, many of whom have supported the festival for over a decade. Festival sponsors include: Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation, Westglow Resort and Spa, SkyBest Communications, Inc., McDonald’s of Boone, Mast General Store, Best Western – Blue Ridge Plaza, Allen Wealth Management, Footsloggers Outdoor & Travel Outfitters, Peabody’s Wine & Beer Merchants, Chetola Resort, the Broyhill Inn and Conference Center, WBTV, WCYB, Charter Media, the Mountain Times, All About Women magazine, the Winston-Salem Journal, the High Country Press, Mac 100.7FM, Mix 102.3FM, WHKY AM 1290 Talk Radio and WHKY-TVDT, Mountain Television Network, WDAV 89.9FM, WFDD 88.5FM, WETS 89.5FM, WNCW 88.7FM,WASU 90.5FM and WNC magazine. Advance tickets to the July 11 performance by Buckwheat Zydeco range from $10 - $25. Ticket prices increase at the door on show nights. Tickets for most festival performances range from $5 - $30, and most visual arts and educational events are free of charge. The festival offers two flexible ticket passes: the ―Pick 5‖ offers a 15% discount off of ticket purchases in multiples of five; the ―Festival Pass‖ offers a 25% discount and priority seating for those who purchase a ticket to each performance. For tickets and information, call 800-841-ARTS(2787) or 828-262-4046 (M-F, 10am-5pm) or visit www.appsummer.org. - ### -