Kevin Naquin and Ossun Playboys coming to Acadian Festival

Darlene Shea
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Cajun musicians providing music for Djâble dans l'corps dance

ABRAM-VILLAGE - The Agricultural Exhibition and Acadian Festival's Djâble dans l'corps dance Friday evening will feature the music of Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys.

Kevin Naquin and Ossun Playboys

For lovers of traditional Cajun music and those who wish to discover it, Naquin and the Ossun Playboys is a popular choice as the group plays its music as it is supposed to be played, remaining true to their traditional heritage. Although most of their music is performed on traditional tunes, they also like to experiment a little with pushing the limits of Cajun music with their unique blend of old and new.

Naquin, who grew up in a French speaking family in Acadiana, south Louisiana, learned to play the accordion at age 14, which is a little late to pick up a musical instrument. But he apparently had an innate talent, because two years later, he assembled the first formation of his band, The Ossun Playboys, and started playing around Lafayette, Louisiana.

He is now a renowned accordionist in the United States, playing the accordion like an old master.

Naquin and the Ossun Playboys have released several award-winning albums and their live shows have also earned them many prestigious awards since 2000 from the Cajun French Music Association. This lively group always attracts crowds to its performances and ensures keeping the crowd on the dance floor all night.

"We thought we would do something new this year by inviting a group of musicians from Louisiana," said Eric Richard, chairman of the Agricultural Exhibition and Acadian Festival board.

The festival dance takes place Friday, Aug. 29, at 10 p.m. at the Evangeline Recreation Centre. Naquin and his group will perform again on Saturday, Aug. 31, at 1 p.m. on the festival grounds in Abram-Village.

The Agricultural Exhibition and Acadian Festival, happening from Aug. 28 to 31, will offer a range of artists starting with the Acazing Talent Competition on Thursday evening, Aug. 28, at 7:30 p.m. Everyone is invited to come cheer on their favourite artists.

On Friday afternoon, at 2:30, young artists will showcase their talents at the Provincial Youth Talent Show, organized by the P.E.I. Association of Exhibitions and sponsored by PEI Mutual Insurance Company. In the evening, at the Expo-Festival Centre, at 8:30, there will be a Music Jam. Anyone can participate.

On Saturday afternoon, at 2, the crowd will be uplifted by the energy of two groups: the Jos Narcisse family and the Swing de Suête from Cheticamp, N.S. The local Jos Narcisse family, features Louise Arsenault, Zelma Arsenault and Norman Gallant. The Swing de Suête is a group of young dancers who have been together since 1997. They have performed in the Maritimes as well as Quebec and Louisiana, U.S.A.

In the evening, there will be the Evangeline and Gabriel Dance at 10 with music by RÉVEIL, an energetic band of musicians from Kent County, N.B.

All of these events will happen at the Evangeline Recreation Centre.

The celebration and music continues Sunday afternoon with the popular Fiddling and Step-dancing Show.

The closing show at the Evangeline Recreation Centre will happen at 7 p.m. Sunday. This show will be a tribute to the late Angèle Arsenault and the launch of her new CD. The evening will feature several artists from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

Organizations: Evangeline Recreation Centre, Cajun French Music Association, P.E.I. Association of Exhibitions PEI Mutual Insurance Company Festival Centre

Geographic location: Lafayette, Louisiana, Acadiana, United States Abram-Village Cheticamp Quebec Kent New Brunswick Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island

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