LT. GOV. LANDRIEU & ACADIANA COMMUNITY CELEBRATE NEW ZYDECO CAJUN GRAMMY CATEGORY -- 02/07/2008
Office of Lieutenant GovernorFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2008
LT. GOV. LANDRIEU & ACADIANA COMMUNITY CELEBRATE NEW ZYDECO CAJUN GRAMMY CATEGORY
Tout Business Recruitment Efforts at the GRAMMYS, Unveil New Tourism Ad Featuring Cajun Zydeco Musician
(Lafayette, LA) - Today, Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu hosts a send off press conference for Louisiana musicians and cultural economy stakeholders prior to the GRAMMY Awards this weekend. This year, the Recording Academy created a new GRAMMY category, Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album.
"For the last century, Zydeco and Cajun Music have been emblematic of the rich, authentic culture found only in Louisiana," Lt. Governor Landrieu said. "This new Grammy category acknowledges achievement in two unique genres of music that are indigenous to Louisiana and are a vibrant part of our state's culture. The Grammy organization's recognition will potentially expose new listeners to Louisiana musicians and music."
"Louisiana is a leader is in arts, culture and innovation. This year's GRAMMY nominations have had an incredible unifying effect on our creative community," said Louisiana Crossroads Director Todd Mouton. "We can't wait to get out to Los Angeles and show them what we are all about."
Lt. Governor Landrieu said that economic development missions like this weekend's business recruitment event in conjunction with the GRAMMYS help build Louisiana's economy. "It is critically important to attract and develop creative industries to diversify our state's economy," Landrieu said. "Louisiana's sound recording incentive is a driver of this recruitment."
According to the Louisiana Economic Development Department, the Sound Recording incentive program was substantially changed during the 2007 Louisiana Legislative Session. During the last 5 months the "new" Sound Recording program has become active:
In 2007, close to $4.5 million was invested in Louisiana's sound recording studio infrastructure, with another $4.45 million investment in sound recording production.
Cynthia Simien, a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and a longtime advocate for Academy recognition of Zydeco and Cajun music, said she is thrilled by the new category. "This is a great testament to how important our indigenous Zydeco and Cajun Music artists are to the cultural and musical identity of this state and this country," Simien said. "Now, each and every year, we will have five recordings nominated and one recording that will garner a Grammy Award, instead of once every 10-20 years under the previous category system."
Gerald Breaux, Executive Director of the Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission, took a leadership role in making the new Cajun Zydeco Category a reality. "Acadiana can offer visitors a unique cultural experience, and our music is a big part of what we have to offer," Breaux said. "This recognition from the Grammys builds up Louisiana's brand as one of the country's greatest destinations for music."
At the press conference, held at the Acadiana Center for the Arts, Lt. Governor Landrieu debuted a brand new Louisiana tourism ad that features well-known Zydeco musician Terrance Simien. The new My Louisiana ads provide visitors an "insider's" personal insight on what to see and do while in Louisiana.
"We are blessed with unbelievably talented and gregarious people in Louisiana who all have their own favorite things that they love about this state. Based on our research and our natives' intimate knowledge of Louisiana, we arrived at a campaign concept that allowed a handful of local personalities to share their insight into what they think is great about Louisiana," said Lt. Gov. Landrieu.
In 2003, Lt. Governor Landrieu launched the Cultural Economy Initiative to grow jobs through Louisiana music, film, food and the arts. Today, the cultural economy accounts for 144,000 jobs in our state. The Recording Academy has been a great partner in our efforts to create opportunities for Louisiana's people through the cultural economy.