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Folklorists Nicholas Spitzer and Barry Ancelet have developed the theory that the language and sound of zydeco are related to traditional music found in parts of West Africa as well as on a number of Indian Ocean islands, especially Rodrigues.

In the recorded era, early precedents for the modern zydeco sound are first heard on 1934 field recordings by folklorist Alan Lomax, as well as the early commercial recordings by the legendary black Creole accordionist Amédé Ardoin.

It indicates that the instrument was being played in Louisiana as early as 21 years after its invention in 1829.

Learn more ith its syncopated rhythms, French and English lyrics, and wide range of musical influences, zydeco represents both a Louisiana folk tradition and a still-vital popular music in southwest Louisiana and beyond.

This venerable music club features both New Orleans' finest performers from across the genre spectrum and well-known touring bands.

Every other Sunday, though, Tip's hosts a Cajun Fais-Do-Do (a fancy word for a dance).

If you're in the French Quarter with zydeco on your mind, Krazy Korner is your place.

This bar is one of the only Bourbon Street venues that still actively and regularly promotes excellent local zydeco, blues, and R&B, and though drinks are overpriced (it's Bourbon Street, after all), it's still a good place to dance away a couple of hours.

Just don't be too surprised if a friendly local drags you to the floor at some point. Pick up a copy of Off Beat Magazine or The Gambit at any newsstand as soon as you arrive in town, or tune your radio dial to WWOZ at 90.7 FM, and check out the concert listings.

Keep an eye out for these excellent venues, which are likely to have Cajun and zydeco music on the docket.

Though Cajun and zydeco music are not native to New Orleans (they're rooted in Acadiana, the area around Lafayette), they've made a solid and lasting impression on the Big Easy's musical scene.

You'll see lots of Cajun and zydeco bands at all of the major New Orleans festivals, including Jazz Fest, the French Quarter Festival, and (obviously) the Cajun-Zydeco Festival.

Mid-City Lanes is a one-of-a-kind venue which combines bowling, food, and live bands for an experience that you won't replicate anywhere else.