Allons à Louisiane: 60 Years of Arhoolie in Louisiana

PRESS RELEASE: March 29, 2023 

CONTACT: John Leopold, Managing Director – 831-566-0122 

“Allons à Louisiane: 60 Years of Arhoolie in Louisiana”  

to open at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 

The Arhoolie Foundation and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation Archive are proud to announce a co curated exhibition at the 2023 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Allons à Louisiane: 60 Years of Arhoolie  in Louisiana. The exhibition showcases the Louisiana photographs of Chris Strachwitz, founder of Arhoolie  Records and one of the most celebrated documentarians of American roots music over the past half-century. Co curated with Rachel Lyons, Archivist at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, the exhibition features  over 100 photographs, many never before seen, that provide a vivid portrait of Louisiana’s rich vernacular music  traditions. 

Since he founded Arhoolie Records in 1960, Strachwitz was drawn to Louisiana and its music. From the  traditional jazz of New Orleans to the distinctive Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco sounds of Southwest Louisiana,  Strachwitz recorded scores of albums showcasing the musical wealth of the state. He also carried his camera and  captured the diverse artists, traditions, and places that defined Louisiana music.  

“When I was starting out, Arhoolie Records and Chris Strachwitz was one of the things that pointed me in the  direction of a heritage festival,” says Quint Davis, a founder of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and  CEO of Festival Productions. “For me, Arhoolie was central to discovering this great American musical  heritage. Jazz Fest was like Arhoolie coming to life.”  

Allons à Louisiane takes viewers to the JazzFest stage, the clubs of New Orleans, and into the homes and  dancehalls of Acadiana, where Strachwitz first encountered the music that Arhoolie shared with the world. The  exhibition travels throughout the state to churches, dance halls, garages, boucheries (pig roasts), trail rides, and  homes, where generations of musicians have kept the region’s music alive. The images Strachwitz captured,  many of which graced Arhoolie album covers, are an enduring testament to Louisiana music. 

“This exhibition showcases amazing artists who have created some of Louisiana’s greatest music,” comments  John Leopold, Managing Director of the Arhoolie Foundation and co-curator of the exhibition. “The  photographs are a visual complement to the outstanding American roots music presented over the years at the  New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.”  

The exhibit, which will be located under the grandstand at Jazz Fest, will also include videos from Strachwitz  and Les Blank’s seminal 1989 documentary on Cajun music, J’ai été au bal (I Went to the Dance), along with  footage from other Arhoolie Foundation productions about Louisiana music.

About the Arhoolie Foundation 

For over 25 years, the Arhoolie Foundation has been building on the work of founder Chris Strachwitz and his seminal independent record  label Arhoolie Records. We are dedicated to the documentation, preservation, and celebration of regional roots music and its makers with  a special emphasis on the genres of Blues, Cajun/Zydeco, and Tejano/Norteño. Through films, digital audio preservation, exhibitions, and  our extensive archival website, we work to broaden public awareness of our diverse music history and support for living music and  cultural traditions. Visit our website at  

About the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation Archive 

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation Archive is an educational service that identifies, collects, preserves, and protects materials  of cultural and historical significance to New Orleans and Louisiana as well as the records of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation  and its assets and programs. These materials are used to support the mission of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation to promote,  preserve, perpetuate, and encourage the music, culture, and heritage of communities in Louisiana. Search their catalog at  

For pictures and logo for the exhibit visit: usp=share_link 

NOTE: Any photos used in publications should be credited as “Photo by Chris Strachwitz ©Arhoolie Foundation”