- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 19, 2014

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - New Orleans-based public radio program “American Routes” has organized the first tour by a Louisiana French band to mainland China.

The New Orleans Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/Otrdd0) Jesse Lége, Joel Savoy & Cajun Country Revival will perform April 1-12 at American cultural centers, U.S. consulates and clubs in Guangzhou, Harbin, Nanjing and Shanghai.

The roots music-centered, eclectic “American Routes” radio show is heard through the U.S. Produced at Tulane, the program previously organized US-China exchange programs.

Nick Spitzer, host and producer of “American Routes” and professor of American studies and anthropology at Tulane University, is the tour’s artistic director. He also will conduct oral history workshops and lecture about French Louisiana culture while Cajun filmmaker Conni Castille will screen her documentaries “I Always Do My Collars First” and “T-Galop: A Louisiana Horse Story.”

“Our ‘American Routes Abroad’ series is ‘vernacular cultural diplomacy,’” Spitzer said in a statement. “It brings great traditional artists from diverse American communities to China and elsewhere. It’s gratifying to see Chinese audiences react to American traditional cultures.”

Lege, a singer-accordionist, grew up in rural Vermilion Parish in the town of Gueydan, La. Cajun-French is his first language. He learned to perform music from relatives, neighbors and the radio.

Savoy, a fiddler from Eunice, is one of Cajun musicians Marc and Ann Savoy’s musical children. He co-founded Valcour Records in 2006.

Spitzer said radio audiences in the U.S. will hear the Louisiana musicians’ performances in China during a future “American Routes” broadcast

In May, the Campbell Brothers, a New York-based sacred steel guitar group, will tour China also under the auspices of “American Routes.”


Information from: The New Orleans Advocate, https://www.neworleansadvocate.com

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