recess radio program

6/25/04
Creole for Kidz
    by John Cech

 

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That's Terrance Simien with part of his moving "Song of a Creole Slave," followed by Louisana Senator Donald Cravins's narration that explains the music and life of the creoles of Louisiana. It's on a CD called Creole for Kidz. Terrance Simien has been taking his live-music extravaganza to schools and performance spaces throughout Louisiana and around the country for some years. His mission has been to pass on to a new generation of young people an awareness of creole culture and its unique blending of West African, Spanish, and French influences. To do this Simien introduces his audiences to the landscape, the animal life, the language, history, and vibrant traditions of the region and its people. We learn that the word, "gumbo," comes from the African word for okra; and zydeco, the exhilirating music that has become synomous with a great time, literally means, "to dance." Simens' presentation of his subject is hard to take without singing or tapping your toes and just plain joining in. No wonder his musical history program is being made available as part of the curriculum in some school districts. What an irresistible way to learn something important about creole identity, its history, its spirit, and its capacity for mixing things together and coming out with something truly, wonderfully delicious:

Brief sound clip

Copyright 2004 John Cech

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Thursday, 27-May-2004 11:36:52 EDT


"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."