A symbolic ceremonial event for an iconic Louisiana musician

Opelousas, LA — Sunday, March 11, 2018, a special event, Bringing Amédé Home, will take place at 4pm at the St. Landry Parish Visitor Information Center in Opelousas, LA. The ceremony, in honor of Amédé Ardoin, will feature a candlelit Remembrance Vigil, a Bal du Dimanche après-midi (Sunday afternoon house dance), and the unveiling of a forged steel statue of the iconic accordionist. St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission Director, Celeste Gomez adds, “We’re honored to have Amédé’s likeness here at the Visitor Center where both tourists and those in our community will have the opportunity to hear his story firsthand, from our staff, and better understand his role in shaping today’s Cajun and zydeco music.” The Center is located at 978 Kennerson Rd. in Opelousas, on Interstate 49 at Exit 23.

Artists, musicians, and relatives of Amédé Ardoin have committed to participating in the March 11th event. Local music expert, Herman Fuselier, will be the Master of Ceremonies, and microbrewer, Bayou Teche Brewing will commemorate the event with a keg of craft beer. Guests will also be introduced to the sculptural artist, Russell Whiting. Many surprises are in store for the afternoon, but participants are encouraged to also use this event as an opportunity for reflection.

Ardoin was one of the earliest musicians to record his la la style of Creole music in the 20s and 30s and is widely regarded as the bedrock of today’s Cajun and Creole music. A racial assault following a performance resulted in a brain stem injury and is generally thought to be the cause of his death. Inspired by the Ardoin family’s efforts to “bring him home” from his burial place in an unmarked grave at the Central Louisiana Hospital in Pineville, the Amédé Ardoin Project Committee formed with the purpose of symbolically bringing him home through this public memorial.  Committee member and former Louisiana poet laureate, Darrell Bourque, states,

“Ardoin is one of our great existential poets. He knew his first responsibility as artist and as human being was to be true to his voice, and because of his steadfastness to clarity, purity and integrity of voice, he became what his beloved fiddle partner Dennis McGee called him, ‘une chanson vivant’, a living song.”

For more information about Bringing Amédé Home, contact the St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission (SLPTC) at 337-948-8004. SLPTC is the official destination marketing organization tasked with the purpose of promoting tourism in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana.

Darrell Bourque and Pat Cravins

Darrell Bourque and Pat Cravins