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Cajun and zydeco music both trace their origins here to St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. One of the best ways to keep these musical traditions alive and accessible to newer generations is through jam sessions. The St. Landry Parish Visitor Center, located off I-49 exit 23 outside Opelousas, is an award-winning architectural feat and symbolic resting place of the accordion genius, Amédé Ardoin. In addition to this, the Visitor Center hosts three jam sessions throughout the month. These jam sessions provide a space for musicians to share their knowledge with each other and give visitors an opportunity to enjoy live music.

On the second Saturday of the month at 1 p.m., the Visitor Center hosts the Zydeco Capital Jam. Founded in 2019 by executive director, journalist and radio personality, Herman Fuselier, this jam focuses on zydeco music and is the only zydeco jam session in Acadiana. Prominent zydeco musicians often lead the jam, giving local musicians the opportunity to play alongside zydeco greats. Past jam leaders include Jeffery Broussard, Kaleb LeDay, Corey Ledet, Randall Jackson, Joe Hall, Geno Delafose and many others. You never know who may show up to jam!

Cajun and country music fills the air at the Visitor Center on the third Saturday of the month at 1 p.m. with the Jammin' on the Bayou event. This jam session features a host of regulars who are always open to new musicians looking to practice their French and flex their music expertise. Guitar, accordion and violin players and enthusiasts can find a home here.

Every Wednesday at 10 a.m., you can also find a group of dedicated individuals playing one of the few instruments of American origin, the dulcimer. The Dulcimer Jam started out with two women who practiced the violin at the Visitor Center, and evolved into a regular group of dulcimer players who enjoy acoustic accompaniment.

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If you can't make it to any of these jam sessions, there are plenty across the parish you can enjoy:

  • JAMbalaya Music Jam at Tom's Fiddle and Bow in Arnaudville on the first Sunday of the month at 1 p.m.
  • Cajun Jam at Bayou Teche Brewing in Arnaudville every Sunday at 2 p.m.
  • Opelousas Makers Market at the Courthouse Square in Opelousas on the last Saturday of the month at 9 a.m.
  • Savoy Music Jam at the Savoy Music Center in Eunice every Saturday at 9 a.m.

For more live music, follow St. Landry Parish Tourism on Facebook for a new weekly music listing every Thursday. You can also find more information about these events and more at CajunTravel.com.

Courtesy of St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission.

 Photos courtesy of St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission.

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