Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Music & Market features Leon Chavis, Trash Art exhibit

    The sounds Leon Chavis & the Zydeco Flames and snap beans will blend together for the Friday, April 27edition of Music & Market in Opelousas. The free outdoor concerts are held at Farmer's Market Pavilion located on the grounds of Le Vieux Village on Vine & Landry Streets. The event is scheduled from 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., with music beginning at 6 p.m.
Leon Chavis
    Born and raised in Lawtell, Louisiana, Chavis began singing and playing drums when he was two years old. In high school, Chavis began to get involved into zydeco, R&B, and hip hop music, where he learned to play the keyboard, rub board and accordion. He then went on to play trumpet for the world famous Southern University Jaguar Marching Band while majoring in Business Management.
    Chavis' family music heritage had a big influence on his career. His father, Joe "Chopper" Chavis, has performed R&B and played keyboard and rub board for major R&B and zydeco bands for over 30 years. Meanwhile, his cousin, Boozoo Chavis, is considered a legend and pioneer of zydeco music. 
    In 2004, Chavis and his dad formed Leon Chavis and the Zydeco Flames. Within two years, the band was performing heavily and released his first album titled, "The Heat Is On." Chavis' second album, "Holla @ Me," brought him acclaim for the song titled for the album. His third CD, "Zydeco Soul Child," was released in 2010. A new CD is expected to be released later this year. 
    The majority of the free, outdoor, cultural events are held at Le Vieux Village/Farmer's Market Pavilion, located at 828 East Landry St., in Opelousas. The May 4 and May 11 events will take place downtown on the St. Landry Parish Courthouse Square. 
    On Friday, April 27th, the evening will also lend way for the second annual Trash Art exhibit. The trash can exhibit will turn empty oil barrels into artistic trash cans by students from St. Landry Parish schools.
Schools involved in the Trash Art project include South Street Elementary, Washington Elementary, Grolee Elementary, Magnet Academy for Cultural Arts, Port Barre High, Southwest Elementary and Opelousas Junior High. The receptacles will eventually be placed in the downtown area of Opelousas. Ortego Oil Supply in Opelousas is donating the barrels for the project. 
    In addition to musical entertainment, Music & Market spotlights a vegetable and/or agriculture commodity. Samples of snap beans will be available Friday. Featured vegetables and products throughout the series include corn, cabbage, mustard greens,okra, tomatoes and squash.
    Concert-goers are welcome to bring lawn chairs for seating. Because beverages sales for the concert series go towards and event expenses, ice chests will not be allowed.
    The remaining Spring 2012 lineup features:
  • May 4 -- LA 31 (variety), cabbage
  • May 11 -- Jamie Bergeron & Kickin Cajuns (Cajun), okra; Courthouse Square
  • May 18 -- Warren Storm, Willie Tee and Cypress (swamp pop), tomatoes; Courthouse Square
  • May 25 -- Goldman Thibodeaux & the Lawtell Playboys (Creole), squash
This event is presented by City of Opelousas Tourism with support from St. Landry Homestead, Delta Media, Acadiana Council for the Arts (ACA), LA Division of the Arts, Union Pacific Railroad, Delta Media Corporation, CenterPoint Energy, Louisiana Lottery, Shop Rite, IESI, American Bank, Bodemuller the Printer and Cleco.
    For more information or to find out about vendor opportunities, call 337-948-6263 or visit www.cityofopelousas.com.

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