Tonight I am beginning the first in a series of posts to come about Louisiana and Dominica– and their surprisingly wonderful similarities !
Last year I had the pleasure of seeing some of the dance and music competitors for Dominica’s 31st Independence Celebration face off at Cabrits. That was the first time I heard Dominica’s traditional folk music, jing ping. Jing ping bands typically contain four musical artists-one on the accordion, one on the drum, one on the grater/shaker and one on the boom boom (bamboo stick). I was amazed at how much the jing ping sounded like what we call from south Louisiana, zydeco music. The common thread between these music styles is the playing of the accordion, the percussion, and the toe-tapping beats. Instead of using what jing ping musicians call the “grater”, zydeco artists use a “washboard”.
You can sample the musical sounds of these two lovely places I call home by clicking on these youtube links below…
The festival was conceived out of the need to provide a platform for Dominican musicians and musical expressions as well as to expose the island’s culture to a more diversified world audience. It was also meant to build solidarity and collaboration between Dominican artistes, music producers and intellectuals and others in the creole speaking countries of Guadeloupe, Martinique and St; Lucia as well as from Francophone Africa, Louisiana, Haiti, Seychelles and other parts of the world.
-Quote from the Government of Dominica’s website.
Apparently, zydeco artists have come here to Dominica to perform at the Creole Music Festival. It’s so amazing to me that Louisiana and this humble, little island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean have a connection. Stay tuned….I have more connections to reflect on, but perhaps after another cup of Community Coffee 🙂 .