3 DAYS! JUNE 2, 3, 4, 2017
Any Questions
Call Valerie at 206.335.9665

Edmonds Waterfront Festival
Our 2017 
Line Up

Nite Wave
featured to the right

Friday, June 2, with emcee Matt Clough
3:00 to 4:00 pm: SeaJazz Big Band Edmonds area High School Jazz musicians
4:30 to 5:30 pm: Shane Cobane Elvis Tribute
5:30 to 6:00 pm: OPENING CEREMONY Port Director and Yacht Club Commodore
6:00 to 7:30 pm: Richard Allen & Louisiana Exp. Zydeco
8:00 to 10:00 pm: The Beatniks Classic Rock
5:00 to 7:00 pm: Steffon Moody​ Thurston Howell II

Saturday, June 3with emcee Mike Colvin
Noon to 1:30 pm:The Islanders Tropical Steel Drums
2:00 to 3:00 pm:The Edsels 50's & 60's Rock & Roll
3:30 to 5:30 pm:The Hitmen Motown and Classic R&B
6:00 to 7:30 pm:Whiskey River Southern rock featuring Lynard Skynard
8:00 to 10:00 pm:Afrodisiacs Classic Rock
12:00 to 2:00 pm:Reptile Isle Reptile Show
1:00 to 3:00 pm: Steffon Moody​ Gilligan

Sunday, June 4with emcee Mike Colvin
11:30 to 12:30 pm: Shane Cobane Elvis Tribute
1:00 to 2:00 pm:Jimmy Vegas Vegas Show
2:30 to 3:30 pm: Wings N Things Paul McCartney Tribute
4:00 to 5:00 pm:Hair Nation 80's Pop Rock
5:30 to 7:00 pm:Nite Wave 80s hits
1:00 to 3:00 pm:Shane Cobane ​80s hits
2:00 to 3:00 pm:Linda Severt's Juggletunes Music, Circus Arts, and Funny business
Get acquainted to the rhythms of Zydeco

By Theresa Poalucci

If music is the international language, it certainly has many dialects, all of which start regionally. You can exactly pinpoint where Zydeco music comes from. It is the discourse of Louisiana specifically Southwest Louisiana home to Black Creoles, a group of people of mixed African, Afro-Caribbean, Native American and European descent. This community is traditionally rural, French-speaking and is somewhat intertwined with the Cajun culture.

For some who grew up in the region, they say that Zydeco is in their blood. This is certainly true of Richard Allen. Raised in Lafayette, Louisiana, his parents spoke fluent French and his Great Grandmother taught her children about the sounds of Zydeco.

“I grew up listening to my uncle playing the accordion,” said Allen. “The whole family would dance to this joyous music.” 

Allen did choose a career in music, but not the accordion and not Zydeco. He started out on the drums, which earned him a scholarship at LSU. He eventually earned his masters in music and became a conductor. It was leading an orchestra that brought him to the northwest when he got a gig conducting for the 5th Avenue Theater.

After years of formal education, it was a friend who reintroduced him to Zydeco when he played for Allen a 1950s recording of Clifton Chenier. Allen found himself drawn to the accordion. Clifton Chenier is considered the "King of Zydeco." He pioneered a new kind of music, blending old-time French Creole and Cajun sounds with electric blues and R&B.

“I wanted to learn to play the piano/accordion like my uncles did, with no formal training. I wanted to teach myself,” said Allen. “After getting my masters in all types of music and instruments it was strange because it was the most challenging instrument I ever took on. But I remembered this sound and it still always takes me back home.”

Allen is proud to now be sharing Zydeco with world through his band the Louisiana Experience. The group consists of Allen on accordion, along with a washboard player, a drummer, a bass, and guitar. The washboard (or rubboard, which is called a frottoir) is of particular importance because having this component in the band distinguishes Zydeco from Cajun. 

“It took me seven years to find someone who was proficient at playing scrubboard,” he explained. “I finally found her in Edmonds and she has a naturally ability. She studies Zydeco dance as well.”

Zydeco music does have its own dance form as and it has become increasingly popular over the years. You can visit gatorboyproductions.com to find a list of Zydeco dance events in the Northwest. Zydeco dancing is intensely passionate, and it has been heralded as the new salsa.

While working as a substitute teacher for the Mukilteo School District, Allen has been spending his time on producing his first CD. Nine of the 10 tracks are his original music. Entitled “Now’s the Time,” the CD came out last fall and is available online. 

“Audiences often react first with a ‘what is this’ look, but soon they are moving with the music as the rhythm is contagious,” said Allen. You can’t be unhappy and listen to Zydeco. My mission now is to branch out to new audiences and share my cultural heritage through this music.”

“I am happy with my practical musical training. It has help me to make a living. Now it is all Zydeco,” he concluded. “It has been an amazing journey so far.”

To purchase his new CD or learn more about Richard Allen and the Louisiana Experience visit www.louisianaexperience.com.

Richard Allen and the Louisiana Experience perform on the festival’s Stage on Frdiay, June 3 staring at 4:30 p.m.

Check out 
The Hitmen 
on Saturday
Check out 
The Michelle Taylor Band 
on Saturday