Thursday, February 16, 2012

Zydeco in San Diego - The Bon Temp Social Club

San Diego has a very active zydeco/Cajun community of homegrown dancers and musicians, thanks to The Bon Temps Social Club which holds weekly dances at Tio Leo's Cantina  in San Diego with lessons - most often taught by Greg Benusa.

Greg has taught hundreds of people the basics of zydeco dancing and has a DVD, that makes learning the dance at home a breeze. You can have fun the very first night on the dance floor. His website is

The club also hosts a monthly - 2nd Sat dance with live zydeco and Cajun bands - often from Louisiana, and it participates annually in the local Gaslamp Quarter's Fat Tuesday Parade, held each year to celebrate Mardi Gras.

Club members build a float which more often than not wins the grand prize. A not to be missed aspect of this evening's events is a zydeco mass held before the parade at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, which is well-attended by revelers who are decked out in their colorful costumes. It is a sight to behold.

The club's premier event is the Gator by the Bay Festival held each Mothers' Day weekend on Shelter Island at Spanish Landing Park. Many of zydeco's best groups come to San Diego for this event. This year's headliner is Keith Frank.

Of its two main stages, one specializes in zydeco and Cajun music, while the other presents blues and country music. Over this weekend event, tons of crawfish are served, as well as BBQ'ed turkey legs, beignets, and other traditional Louisana and "fair" food.

Gator by the Bay is a splendiferous, family friendly event. Oh, yeah! Don't forget to bring Mom. And Dad probably won't mind tagging along too much either.

For more information, open the link.