Includes Cajun/Zydeco dance lesson with Dana DeSimone at 8 pm.
Winner of everyone’s vote as one of the Bay’s hottest dance bands, MotorDude Zydeco purveys a high-energy hybrid of Cajun and zydeco styles. The group is powered by the hardest-working man in the local Cajun/zydeco scene, multi-instrumentalist Billy Wilson – who plays accordion for MDZ – along with singer/rubboard player Lloyd Meadows, guitarist Ian Lamson, drummer and singer Willy Jordan, and bassist Dennis Calloway. Launched in 1989 by veterans of other zydeco and dance bands, MDZ takes its name from Motor Dude, a horse owned by the late, great accordion player and zydeco pioneer Boozoo Chavis.
The group holds a long tenure at Ashkenaz, and tonight offers its tribute to its late founder David Nadel. Billy Wilson says, “We’ll have a few testimonials from folks and do a lotta dancing!” Dancing is the ultimate testimonial to Nadel’s spirit. “The only time David was not working in the club was when he was in jail for protesting!” Wilson explains. “He is the only human being I've ever known who I never saw do anything just for himself. Everything he did was for everyone. In my book it's Gandhi, Martin Luther King and David Nadel.”
Wilson adds, “First time I went to Ashkenaz in the ’70s there was no dance floor, just concrete. David was showing vintage cartoons. I had a great old time. My first gig was around 1980, playing steel guitar with Wall of Gumbo opening for Zulu Spear. Had another great old time. Played a Saturday a month for six years with Danny Poullard.” Wilson’s band Bayou Pon Pon started the Tuesday Cajun/zydeco gigs that have continued ever since. “One night Bayou Pon Pon drew 305 folks to the gig and David pronounced that Cajun dancing was no fluke and had legs!”