There are many reason to travel west out of New Orleans into Cajun country, and music is certainly one of the most important. We had some wonderful musical experiences when we traveled through the Parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, St. Landry along the Zydeco Cajun Prairie Scenic Byway. But certainly the most exciting was the opportunity to meet musician and accordion maker Mark Savoy in his workshop near Eunice, Louisiana and learn from an expert the history and science of accordions.
Mark Savoy is charming and brilliant. He seemed to have all the time in the world to share his love of all things Cajun, and particularly his knowledge of accordions. Did you know that most accordions used by Cajun musicians are hand-made right there in Louisiana? Did you know that the particular squeeze box used by the Cajuns came originally from German immigrants? Did you know that there is an essential link between Louisiana and Italy? Our conversation with him led us eventually to a small hill town in the Le Marche region of Italy in one of those unexpected and wonderful experiences that can come from random meetings along the travel road.
And how does the trail from Cajun accordions in Eunice, Louisiana lead to Italy? It turns out, Mark told us that there are certain parts that are too difficult to hand craft in his own workshop, so he scoured the world to find someone who made them well. He found what he was looking for in the town of Castlefidardo, Italy. At the time we were visiting with Savoy in 2006, we were preparing for a trip to Italy, and would be going right into the area of Castlefidardo. So of course we went there in search of accordion makers. But that is a story for another day.
This has been my contribution to Travel Photo Thursday. You can see many more pictures of world travels by going to Budget Traveler’s Sandbox.