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Not content with simply booking one-off cajun and zydeco events and teaching folks how to spin and strut to those genres, last year Sharon Schiliro and Michael Hart organized the first Dancing by the Bayou Festival at Glen Echo Park. The festival’s back this weekend, with the addition of a pre-fest kick-off dance tonight at the Greenbelt American Legion #136, featuring Dennis Stroughmatt & Creole Stomp, and a Saturday night after hours party at the Irish Inn at Glen Echo, in addition to the main event from noon to midnight on Saturday and noon to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. With grooving squeezebox fingerwork and the chanka-chank sounds of the rubboard, hardcore dancers will surely find ample opportunities to shake a leg.
Sunday’s schedule looks especially promising. Rosie Ledet and the Zydeco Playboys, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble, and Nathan and the Zydeco Cha-chas are full of charisma and great songwriting skills, and they all know how to lay down that distinctive la-la beat. Expect Ledet to purr sultry double-entendre filled lyrics and Riley to bring catchy swamp pop melodies. Taylor will meld zydeco with contemporary R and B vocal harmonies and keyboard. And Williams will close the event with speedy, no-nonsense creole barnburners.
The festival begins tonight from 8 to 11:30 p.m. with a pre-festival performance at the Greenbelt American Legion Post 136, 6900 Greenbelt Rd., Greenbelt. $15. The festival continues Saturday from 12 to 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to 12:15 a.m., and Sunday from noon to 6:30 p.m., at Glen Echo Park, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo. $30 to $110. (301) 762-6730.