Monday, December 23, 2013

'Only in Louisiana' event celebrates our Grammy nominees

     Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and the Louisiana Office of Tourism are hosting “Only in Louisiana,” a celebration of Louisiana’s 2014 Grammy nominees, with live performances by Terrance Simien, Hot 8 Brass Band and Zachary Richard, beginning at 7 p.m. at Baton Rouge Magnet High in Baton Rouge.
Terrance Simien
     There are 11 Louisiana acts recently announced as finalists for America’s top music honors. Other Grammy nominees from Louisiana are Hunter Hayes, Tim McGraw, Allen Toussaint, Terence Blanchard, Bobby Rush, Andrew Duhon, Bishop Paul S. Morton and PJ Morton. Additionally, two Grammy-nominated compilation albums feature Dege Legg, the Savoy Family Band, the Savoy-Doucet Cajun Band and David Doucet. Grammy nods include nominations in Best Regional Roots, Best Americana Roots and best album or performances in jazz, country, blues, R&B and gospel.
Savoy Family Band
     “We have been celebrating music all year long and are thrilled to put together this program highlighting Louisiana’s best musicians and raising funds to offset nominees’ travel expenses to the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles,” Lt. Gov. Dardenne said. “We expect ‘Only in Louisiana’ to be an evening filled with incredible tunes and fun times.”
     The event will also recognize artists who participated in the 2013 Louisiana Music Ambassador Program, a Louisiana Office of Tourism program that sponsors Louisiana acts playing at major festivals and venues nationally and internationally. Music Ambassadors touted Louisiana as a top tourist destination for music lovers during their performances, while distributing Louisiana Pick Your Passion items to crowds in more than 20 U.S. states and eight foreign countries.
     Tickets to the "Only in Louisiana" concert are $25. Information:

Friday, December 6, 2013

A taste of Faberge in Cajun Country

     Did you know that Vivian Alexander creates unique Christmas ornaments in the style of Carl Faberge, right here in the heart of Cajun Country? These elegant, unique creations also include purses, jewelry, clocks and whimsical eggs, fabulous works of art collected worldwide with some used by Hollywood in major motion pictures. Each piece is a one-of-a-kind, handcrafted in Louisiana.
     For Christmas, Vivian Alexander has produced the 2013 Fine Silver Christmas Ornament (shown at right) in a limited edition of 200, serially numbered, each made by hand and engine turned to create the beautiful guilloche pattern, enhanced with translucent enamel. This technique was the core of the Faberge Imperial Egg created for the Tzar of Russia. Alexander mastered this procedure while replicating selected objects from the vast Faberge collection of Imperial Russian Art gathered by Malcolm Forbes. 
     Original purses can be created by Alexander with the customer specifying enamel colors and designs. The purse to the left contains enamel and Swarovski crystals.
     Not only are these masterpieces available for purchase, but you can tour the Vivian Alexander Art Studio in Maurice, just outside Lafayette, by appointment Tuesdays through Saturdays. For information, call (337) 898 0803, visit or email

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Christmas Story retold

     Two Lafayette churches will be telling the Christmas Story, both in unique and imaginative ways.
     First Baptist Church of Lafayette presents its annual “Singing Christmas Tree” performance with a cast of more than 200, including 85 choir members in a 60-foot tree, in “Keep Calm…Christmas is Coming.” The annual Christmas show travels back to 1940 England when the Germans bombed London and the English Crown encouraged British residents to “Keep Calm and Carry On.”
     “Keep Calm…Christmas is Coming” will be performed Dec. 13-16 at First Baptist Church, 1100 Lee Ave. in downtown Lafayette. Performance times are 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13; 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14; 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15 and 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16.
     Tickets are $10 for students and children, $15 for adults; call (800) 965-9324.
     The Children’s Ministries of Asbury United Methodist Church presents its inaugural “A Drive Thru Bethlehem” beginning at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, through the Asbury campus, 101 Live Oak Blvd. Visitors will view the story of Jesus’ birth with live scenes including the prophet Isaiah foretelling the coming of the Messiah, Mary hearing her destiny from the Angel Gabriel, shepherds tending sheep and The Nativity.
     Cars should enter from Johnston Street, turn right on Montrose Avenue and head south. Turn right on Bell Ann Drive and enter the Asbury Children’s Ministry Building driveway, located adjacent to the southeastern side of LaFonda’s Restaurant. 
     Admission, refreshments and the journey though the town of Bethlehem are free and open to the public.
     Other church holiday events include:
     The free Advent Mission at 6:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9, at St. Peter Catholic Church in Carencro. For information, call (337) 896-9408.
     Lessons and Carols, traditional candlelight service of readings and choral music for the Christmas season in the historic St. John Cathedral, will begin at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, at 914 St. John St. in downtown Lafayette. For information, call (337) 232-1322.

Holiday performances to get you in the spirit

     Concerts, ballet, theatrical events and more are part of Lafayette’s holiday lineup. Here are a few to choose from. For a complete list of Cajun and Creole Christmas events, visit
     PASA presents DanĂș, one of the leading traditional Irish ensembles today, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, in the Heymann Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $10 to $40.
     Christmas with Aaron Neville will be 7:30 pm. Wednesday, Dec. 11, at the Acadiana Center for the Arts. The voice of the Crescent City returns to Lafayette with his full band in a special Christmas performance. 
     The popular “A Tuna Christmas” stage play returns to CitĂ© des Arts of downtown Lafayette Dec. 12-15, 19-22 and 26-29. The comedy is set in the fictional town of Tuna, Texas, and two actors play the entire cast of more than 20 characters of both genders and various ages. For information, call (337) 291-1122.
     The Singing Christmas Tree is a Broadway-style Christmas show for the entire family with a choir singing from a massive Christmas tree. This year’s production is “Keep Calm…Christmas is Coming. Performances are 7 p.m. Dec. 13, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 14, 3 p.m. Dec. 15 and 7 p.m. Dec. 16 at the First Baptist Church in Lafayette. For information, call (800) 965-9324.
     “The Nutcracker” will be performed by Lafayette Ballet Theatre with special guests at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, at the Heymann Performing Arts Center in Lafayette. For information, call (337) 262-0444 or visit
     Looking for a special Christmas event this week? The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, Chorus and Youth Orchestra with special guest soprano Jennifer Welch-Babidge present “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” at 6:30 pm Thursday, Dec 19, at the Heymann Performing Arts Center. In addition to traditional holiday favorites and classics including “Christmas Day” by Holst, “Messiah” excerpts by Handel, “Exultate Jubilate” by Mozart, and “Dance Bacchanal” from “Samson & Delilah” by Saint Saens, Santa will make a visit. Perfect for the whole family.
     The Mavericks with their unique blend of country, Latin and rock 'n' roll, fronted by the vocals of Cuban-born Raul Malo, perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20, at the Acadiana Center for the Arts.
     This is only a tip of the holiday iceberg. Be sure and check out the full schedule at