Big Island Mardi Gras event slated for tonight


A Big Island Mardi Gras celebration kicks off 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Honokaa People’s Theater.

The event features two of the slickest zydeco musicians to come out of Louisiana and they’re looking to party.

“Bring two pairs of shoes and it’s a done deal,” said American music legend Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural.

Dural will perform with his Buckwheat Zydeco Ils Son Partis Band, along with C.J. Chenier &Red Hot Louisiana Band as part of their four island Mardi Gras tour in Hawaii.

They’ll be playing their signature brand of zydeco and Creole music. The main instruments in the Louisiana-inspired music are the accordion and the rub board, the only American-made instrument invented by Chenier’s father.

The late Clifton Chenier is known as the “King of Zydeco,” and was recently honored with a lifetime achievement award at the 2014 Grammy’s special merit awards ceremony.

Chenier describes zydeco as “happy feet music.”

“No matter how bad of a day you had, if you happen to hear some zydeco, you might be in a somber mood, but give it three or four songs and your mood is going to change,” he said. “That’s the type of music it is. It’s feel good music and that’s what it’s all about.”

Dural described it as “cultural energetic music based on blues and rhythm.”

“It could put you in a chill mood one minute then get your feet moving the next,” he said.

Dural recently made an appearance on the last Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show, where he performed “On a Night Like This” with The Roots and Fallon.

Although the television appearance was an enjoyable experience, for Dural, it’s all the same.

“As long as you have a smile on your face and have a good time, that’s all I need. Don’t matter if there’s 2,000 people or two million, making someone feel good, that’s rewarding to me,” he said.

There will be dancing, Cajun food, jambalaya and Mardi Gras beads. Tickets are $40 and up. A portion of the ticket sales will benefit the 36th annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk.

Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.

Chenier and Dural said they’re looking forward to the show, but have one request: “Let’s party ya’ll.”

Email Megan Moseley at mmoseley@hawaiitribune-herald.com

 

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