Zydeco Crossroads

WXPN, University of Pennsylvania



Creole United performs at a Zydeco Crossroads event for WXPN. Photo by John Vettese.


WXPN’s Zydeco Crossroads. Photo by Matthew Shaver, courtesy of WXPN.


WXPN’s Zydeco Crossroads. Photo by Matthew Shaver, courtesy of WXPN.


WXPN’s Zydeco Crossroads. Photo by Hope Helmuth, courtesy of WXPN.

WXPN's yearlong project explores the origins and evolution of zydeco, a form of African-American roots music that blends Creole traditions, blues, and R&B. Handed down through generations, zydeco continues to change as it intersects with other American musical forms, including hip-hop, rock, and soul. Zydeco Crossroads aims to capture the vitality of contemporary zydeco music, with project highlights that include free concerts at World Cafe Live; Philadelphia Folk Festival performances; community events with local music and dance group Allons Danser; and the premiere of a newly commissioned zydeco documentary by filmmaker Robert Mugge. The content-rich Zydeco Crossroads website will become a permanent archive for performance recordings, and will host weekly posts by guest commentators. Throughout the project period, WXPN will air a series of zydeco vignettes, narrated by NPR's World Cafe host David Dye, and a series of 13 one-hour shows produced by Louisiana-based zydeco expert Herman Fusilier.

Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.