Accordion helped shape Louisiana’s culture

The next time you’re two-stepping to a Cajun or zydeco band, consider the collision of cultures that led to the musical gumbo we enjoy today.

Nearly every style of music can be found in Lafayette and surrounding areas — from classical to rap to bluegrass — along with the instruments and numerous cultural voices that create them.

It’s no wonder Anya Schoenegge Burgess, a German/Scots-Irish Bostonian who’s been making fiddles in Arnaudville for 10 years, feels right at home.

“I can’t imagine being anywhere else,” said Burgess, 37. “These are my people. I love it. Just the pace of life. The people’s priorities are the same as my priorities — loving life, enjoying friends and family, good times and traditional music.

“There’s so much traditional music here — Cajun, Creole, zydeco. There’s no other place like it. I feel lucky to be here.”

The native genres of Cajun and zydeco give south Louisiana a sound all its own, and the most notable instruments behind that sound are the accordion, the fiddle and the rubboard.







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