Friday, June 27, 2008

Les Amis Creole Trio at 2008 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

When leaving the Opry House Tent on Wednesday, 25 June 2008, and after having just captured Texas Johnny Brown & the Quality Blues Band and Los Texmaniacs a man named Sidney who along with many others I have documented many times over the years dancing at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival walked up to me and thanked me for the images and videos (some depicting him) that I posted on Flickr, You Tube and Google Video from the 2006 and 2007 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

He suggested that we head over to the Dancehall Tent which was where many of the folks that I've captured in past years were dancing

To my delight, I thoroughly enjoyed myself as I captured folks dancing to the Gulf Texas region music of the Les Amis Creole Trio from Beaumont, Texas.

Led by veteran fiddler and accordionist Ed Poullard, this trio ... includes James Adams and Lawrence Ardoin ... draws its inspiration from old-style French songs of the upper Gulf Coast. They expertly play and preserve a traditional repertoire of waltzes, ballads, and two-steps. Featuring the acoustic interplay of diatonic accordion, fiddle, guitar, and voice, their music is homemade, with an Afro-French twist.

I throughly enjoyed myself until when at the conclusion of their performance that, another white person approached me the way white people do "... when they see black men ..." and started to rant something about unless I had press credentials that, perhaps, I should not be video-taping.

And though I observe many white people and Asians with all kinds of cameras and video-recorders seldom is there a time that white folks and sometimes Asians do not approach me the exact same way as did that white man.

As a 50 something black man who, over the years, practiced integration and who experience the racsim everywhere that I've gone I turned and said "White man, please. I'm 54 ... years old. You don't tell me what I can or can not do!"

After that incident at the Dancehall, I headed home and in continued to document Washington DC, from the perspective of a black man, by focusing on several ongoing projects, including the VRE L'Enfant Station, the Southwest Federal Center - 7th Street, SW, the Marcel Breuer designed HUD Building and a view of the 14th Street Rush Hour Traffic from the 7th Street, SW, overpass.

Since having first seen on TV in the summer of 2001 Gordon Parks' "Solomon Northup's Odyssey - Twelve Years a Slave" when ever I now see a fiddler as was the case on Wednesday, 25 June 2008, that I captured the Les Amis Creole Trio ... I can not help but reflect on my experiences and those of Soloman Northrup.

Click the above image to view my Les Amis Creole Trio - 2008 Smithsonian Folklife Festival photoset and 2008 Smithsonian Folklife Festival collection which are accessable from my 42nd Annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival / WDC webpage.

Here are the videos that I shot of the Les Amis Creole Trio during my 25 June 2008 visit to the 2008 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

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