Cajun, Jazz, R&B, Zydeco, Rock & Swamp Pop

Live Cajun Music Schedule

The Jolly Inn Cajun Dancehall: 1507 Barrow St., Houma, LA 70360; (985) 872-6114; Authentic Cajun dancehall with local-flavored food and drink featuring live dance music Friday and Sunday nights. Children welcomed. Credit cards accepted.

A'Bears Cafe: 809 Bayou Black Dr., Houma, LA 70360; (985) 872-6306; Live Cajun music during dinner on Friday nights.

Bayou Delight Restaurant: 4038 Bayou Black Dr., Houma, LA 70360; (985) 876-4879; Cajun music and dancing during dinner on Friday and Saturday nights.

Bayou Terrebonne Waterlife Museum: 7910 Park Ave., Houma, LA 70364; (985) 580-7200; Cajun band performs from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Terrebonne Folklife Culture Center: 317 Goode St., Houma, LA 70361; (985) 873-6545; Live music on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.


Rhythms of Louisiana's Bayou Country

Cajun, Jazz, R&B, Zydeco, Rock, Swamp Pop and the list goes on and on because in Houma, you’ll always find great music and an exciting nightlife. You can dance the night away in one of our lively Cajun dance halls. Don’t know how to Cajun Two-Step? Don’t worry, the locals are always ready to give you a quick lesson. After that, stop in at one of our many local lounges, bars or nightclubs and hear some of the best live music in all Louisiana. Feeling lucky? Make sure to stop in at one of our video gaming casinos, and see if the elusive Lady Luck will smile on you.

Two-time Grammy nominated musician and multiple Blues Music Awards winner Tab Benoit, a Houma native, formed Voice of the Wetlands in 2003. Voice of the Wetlands is now a nonprofit organization whose volunteers are a mixture of musicians, actors, artists and coastal erosion experts. Their mission is to educate the nation’s public on Louisiana’s coastal and cultural erosion through a series of events, including its annual music festival held in Houma in October. To date, this is the only festival that addresses Louisiana’s coastal and cultural erosion.

Cajun music is rooted in the folk music of the early French-Acadian settlers of Louisiana, but it has been influenced--and continues to influence--by many other genres of music. The original French ballads were changing even as first Acadians came here and encountered other settlers and Native Americans. Instruments were scarce at first and many songs were, therefore, sung a’capella, with hand clapping and foot stomping providing the rhythm.

In the 1800s, the music was transformed again by new cultural influences coming into New Acadia. African music, rhythm & blues, European and Native American music were blended into the ballads for a different, richer sound. Anglo-Americans brought new fiddle tunes and some new ballads. German immigrants introduced the accordion to the regional music scene, and it was quickly adopted as its sound carried well in a crowded dance hall.

The book, Cajun Music: Origins and Development by Barry Jean Ancelet says it best

“The Acadians’ contact with these various cultures also contributed to the development of new musical styles and repertoire. From the Indians, they apparently learned a terraced singing style and new dance rhythms; from the blacks, they learned the blues, percussion techniques, a love of syncopation and improvisational singing; from the Spanish, they may have learned a few tunes, including the melody to “J’ai passe devant ta porte”...Refugees and their slaves who arrived from Saint-Dominque at the turn of the nineteenth century reinforced the African influence with a syncopated West Indian beat. The Jewish German immigrants began importing diatonic accordions...They blended these elements just as they were synthesizing the same cultures to create Cajun society.”

Cajun musicians Adam Fontenot and Amede Ardoin were innovators of the new Cajun style and were among the first to record their music. In more recent years, amplification has allowed a lighter touch with the bow to the violin. Western Swing and Bluegrass influences were incorporated into the music and musicians began singing in English. The accordion, although played at home, was not generally used on popular recordings. When Rock and Roll came along, another new sound called Swamp Pop was born.