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Accordion Dreams: A Journey into Cajun and Creole Music by Blair Kilpatrick

By Blair Kilpatrick

Via age thirty-nine, Blair Kilpatrick had settled into lifestyles as a practising psychologist, spouse, and mom. Then an opportunity come across in New Orleans became her global the wrong way up. She lower back domestic to Chicago with not going new passions for Cajun tune and its defining device, the accordion. Captivated by way of ordinary desires of enjoying the Cajun accordion, she got down to grasp it. but she was once now not a musician, used to be too self-conscious to bop, and did not even sing within the bathe. Kilpatrick's obsession took her from Chicago's Cajun dance scene to a people song camp in West Virginia, from side to side to south Louisiana, or even to a Cajun pageant in France. An unforeseen family members circulation introduced her to the San Francisco Bay region, domestic to the biggest Cajun-zydeco tune scene open air the Gulf Coast. There she grew to become a prot?g? of popular accordionist Danny Poullard, a Louisiana-born Creole and the guiding spirit of the neighborhood Louisiana French song neighborhood. attractive, uplifting, and illuminating a distinct patch of the yank cultural panorama, Accordion desires is Kilpatrick's account of the potential of ardour, risk-taking, and change--at any age. Blair Kilpatrick has an self sustaining perform in psychotherapy within the San Francisco Bay quarter. She additionally plays and files with Sauce Piquante, a standard Cajun-Creole band she based within the past due Nineteen Nineties. examine extra at

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She turned on some recorded music. I studied the subtle movement of her hips, the sway of her short skirt, and the easy saunter of her solid legs, covered in tights. The woman seemed to glide along without effort, feet barely leaving the floor, her mass of dark curls rising and falling with the music— looking graceful, sensuous, and a little tough, all at the same time. Maybe it was the cowboy boots. I brushed away a little ping of envy, as easy as nudging a bit of gravel out of my sandal. That dance teacher made it look so easy, and soon a small group of students had clustered around her.

Hyde Park meant left-leaning politics, the Great Books, urban renewal, Nobel Prize winners, progressive education, independent bookstores—and the University of Chicago, the neighborhood’s anchor. The earthy strains of Cajun music didn’t really fit, at least in my mind. The campus was familiar ground. Steve and I had met as undergraduates at the University of Chicago, and he had worked for years 20 Beginnings at the UC Laboratory School, where our sons were now students. Our whole family bore the mark of this place, a serious academic community dubbed the Grey City and known for its dogged pursuit of the life of the mind.

I’m trying to find one like this,” I told her. The woman directed her husband through a cur- Accordion Dreams 2 7 tain, and he quickly obliged. He looked spry, even though his mind seemed a little cloudy. She, in contrast, was quick and shrewd, despite her physical frailty. The old man reappeared with two or three small black boxes, which is exactly what an accordion looks like, when the bellows are closed—a squeezebox. The woman selected one in my price range, then set it on the counter. “It’s new.

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