Let the good times roll: Ann Savoy plays the Napa Grange | Music

EVY WARSHAWSKI

Every now and then a live concert that promises something really special lands in our beautiful city.

On Friday, August 26, Cajun music legend Ann Savoy (pronounced: Sah-vwah) and her Raggedy Ann Dance Band are hosting a lively dance party at Napa’s Welcome Grange Hall at 3275 Hagen Road in Napa. Joining Savoy will be well-known Bay Area musicians Suzy and Eric Thompson.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with music and dancing from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Only 110 tickets are available on Eventbrite.com. Additional information can be received by emailing concert presenter Daniel Baron at [email protected]

Savoy’s musical roots, upbringing and chance marriage reveal a rich story of how she arrived in the Cajun country of Louisiana and thrived there while earning accolades as a singer, musician, songwriter, producer. record producer, historian and photographer.

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A native of Richmond, Va., Savoy was given a plastic baritone ukulele by her father when she was 10 and was, she says, “obsessed with music from that point on.”

She learned French from the age of 14 while living in Switzerland and completed her first year abroad in Paris while attending, as Savoy describes it, “my private school for women, Virginia’s Mary Baldwin College”. .

In 1977, she met her future husband, Marc Savoy, a nationally renowned Acadian accordion maker and musician, at the National Folk Festival in Washington, DC. member of the famous Savoy-Doucet Cajun Band, with its all-female group, The Magnolia Sisters, and with Marc and their talented sons in the Savoy Family Band.

The multi-instrumentalist also plays banjo and mandolin. “I also play folk stuff like Virginia dulcimers and autoharps,” Savoy added.

“Ann never rests musically,” said Richard Thompson, an English singer, songwriter and guitarist.

Savoy has recorded 12 CDs on the Arhoolie, Rounder and Vanguard labels. She worked with famed record producer T Bone Burnett for Sony’s 2006 remake of “All the King’s Men,” and she’s appeared in numerous Cajun music-themed documentaries, including the PBS series “American Roots. Music”, and with her husband Marc in the film “Marc et Ann” by Les Blank.

As a writer, Savoy is the author of the Benjamin A. Botkin award-winning two-volume book “Cajun Music: A Reflection of a People”, which chronicles the history of Cajun and Zydeco music through interviews, biographies , historical and current stories. photographs and song transcriptions.

In 2006, “Adieu False Heart” was released on Vanguard Records, featuring Savoy’s rich alto blending with famed singer Linda Ronstadt’s pure soprano. Singing as a duo as “The Zozo Sisters”, the artists were nominated for two Grammy Awards for their album.

“In 2023, the Smithsonian Folkways label is releasing my solo album, ‘Another Heart,’ which is basically a follow-up to the record I did with Linda,” Savoy said. “It’s a sequel we wanted to do but his voice was sorely cut off by Parkinson’s disease. We had developed a lot of material, and some of those songs are on this album. It’s very eclectic, all kinds of genres.

“Friday night will be a Cajun dance party,” Savoy said, “with blues and old rock n’ roll, probably. So wear your dancing shoes for the waltz, two-step and boogie.

For more biographical information on Ann Savoy as well as her recording project and friendship with Linda Ronstadt, visit https://www.annsavoy.com/bio.html.

Peabody Award-winning independent producers, the Kitchen Sisters, have created a short video about Savoy which can be viewed at https://kitchensisters.org/2013/03/the-hidden-world-of-ann-savoy/.

DB Productions then presents the Brazilian choro trio Três Baias on September 11th. Musicians include Amir Côrtes, Nando Duarte and Brian Rice. For more information, email [email protected]