The preservation of all that’s good about Cajun culture owes a TON to Dewey Balfa. My current work is one small reflection of his influence. Beyond teaching respect for one’s unique heritage, Balfa helped pass along a general appreciation for the joys of music to younger generations. One of the highlights of my elementary years was having Balfa visit our Louisiana public school with other musicians to not only play for us but teach us to play! (The pattern in the background of my Balfa portrait represents the triangle I learned to clang. We also played spoons and a small traditional wooden instrument). This music appreciation program culminated in my lucky class getting to perform live with Balfa at venues like the Farmer’s Market pavilion in Opelousas (pictured) and Mulate’s restaurant in Breaux Bridge. Such a positive overall experience that I hope to pay forward through my art and my work in art education. Merci, Mr. Balfa!
“You should be proud of your nationality. You should be proud of your region. I want to respect your culture; you respect my culture. And if we ever learn to do this, America is a beautiful country, but it would even be more beautiful. And we can do that.” ~Dewey Balfa