It's the birthplace of America's only indigenous art form—jazz—but Louisiana also is home to a host of musical styles ranging from country, gospel and blues to hip hop, rockabilly and rock 'n' roll. We enjoy an embarrassment of riches in musical talent. From the days of Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet to names like Pete Fountain and Al Hirt, to Kermit Ruffins and Trombone Shorty; from piano innovators Jelly Roll Morton and Professor Longhair to contemporary treasure Allen Toussaint; from Zachary Richard and zydeco "king" Clifton Chenier to Beau Soleil and Rockin' Dopsie; from legendary bands like the Neville Brothers to some of the world's biggest musical names, including Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis and Harry Connick Jr.; Louisiana has produced an incredible wealth of musical talent. The fruits of their influence—and many of the artists—appear on stages large and small throughout the state. When you come to Louisiana, don't miss the music!
When most people think of Cajuns, they think of pirogues on the bayou. But Eunice – named for the town founder’s beloved wife – is the “prairie” Cajun capital of Louisiana. The week here starts on Saturday mornings, with hot boudin sausage, coffee and the open Cajun jam session at Savoy’s Music Center. This 40-year-old tradition, where old hands play alongside up-and-comers, was started by a local accordion-maker and is still going strong. On Saturday evenings, the historic Liberty Theater broadcasts a live Cajun radio show. It makes sense that Eunice would also house the Cajun Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Here, greats like “Doc” Guidry and “Happy Fats” LeBlanc are commemorated, and the story of Cajun music is told. For the rest of the story, visit the Prairie Cajun Cultural Center, which is one of the few places you’ll find National Park Service rangers alongside Cajun chefs dishing up jambalaya.