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'Heathens From The Bayous': Cajun And Creole Culture In Lafayette

On today's installment of World Cafe's Sense Of Placevisit to Lafayette, La., we speak with Michael Doucet, who plays Cajun, Creole, zydeco and other traditional music as a founding member and fiddler of Lafayette band BeauSoleil.

Doucet guides us through the complex histories of Cajun and Creole music in Southwest Louisiana. The French peasants and African slaves from whose culture these musical styles originated had to fight to survive in the New World. But, as Doucet says about the decline in the French-speaking population of the region: "We might lose the language, but I think Cajun will continue. Because that's the Cajun way."

Doucet is also an adjunct professor at the University of Louisiana and a life-long Lafayette resident. On this page, hear two songs from a live World Cafe session with BeauSoleil, recorded in 1998.

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