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Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne: Louisiana’s Cheerleader in Charge

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - Louisiana’s Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne stopped by the Twist studio to talk about everything from music, Essences Fest and the why Louisiana is such a loving state.

LBJ: It’s always great when we got guests in the studio and on Twist today Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne. Thank you so much for being here!

Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne: Thank you, LBJ. Always nice to be in New Orleans and to visit with you.

LBJ: We’ve had very few people in your office that have such a wealth of knowledge about the music business. I spoke to you a couple of years ago on the radio, and I came away from the interview impressed about it. But I love, love, love what you do and the fact that you promote Louisiana music. And so much so, that you’ve got something called the Gumbo Bracket. Tell is about that.

Dardenne: Last year, 2013, we celebrated the year of music in Louisiana, and it was a big focus on our advertising efforts, and I’m a big basketball fan. I decided we oughta have a bracket of the 64 songs by Louisianians or about Louisiana. So I constructed the bracket, called it the Gumbo bracket, with 4 sub-brackets: the Roux, Spice, Rice, and Lagnippe brackets, to capture all the different genres of music that have called Louisiana home. It was a lot of fun.
And it’s obviously a little subjective. It’s my own list, but you can make your own list.

LBJ: So, this week, the big Essence Music Festival in town. The Essence Fest. 20th anniversary. That is so important. It not only brings all these major national acts to town, but also a lot of local acts that participate.

Dardenne: It’s a great event. 20th anniversary. It’s been in New Orleans every year except the post-Katrina year. It’s huge for the economy of New Orleans. The 4th of July weekend is always a relatively slow weekend for hotels in New Orleans but that’s changed since Essence has come to town. And they will do better than ever with Prince, Lionel Richie, Mary J Blige, and all the empowerment seminars they have and all the lagniappel that goes along with the festival.

LBJ: You’re speaking to open the empowerment seminars on Saturday. What can we look for?

Dardenne: Well, just to thank people for coming and telling them this is a great opportunity for them to learn a lot from a lot of talented people and to enjoy Louisiana music and what better showcase for any kind of music than New Orleans?

LBJ: Incredible. Being an elected official statewide, you’ve decided to throw your hat in the,governor’s race. Only two declared candidates now. Senator Vitter and yourself.

Dardenne: Well, John Bell Edwards has declared. I haven’t officially said I’m running, but I’m not making any secret about it. I’m planning to run and I will be running next year.

LBJ: What separates you from those who have declared so far?

Dardenne: Well, I love Louisiana. And the work I’ve done to try and promote our state will carry over into the governor’s office. Now, more than ever we need somebody who’s going to bring the state together, not figure out ways to keep us apart. We’ve got to do what I’ve said I’ve wanted to as Lt. Governor: bring north and south Louisiana together and blur those distinctions sometimes that separate us. It seems to me right now at this time this day and age Louisiana needs someone who loves Louisiana and can bring people together and all the many problems and face the challenges that we have.

LBJ: Fantastic. Well, best of luck.

Dardenne: Thanks a lot.

LBJ: Cheerleader in charge of the state of Louisiana. This guy right here. Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne. Thanks so much for being here.

Dardenne:Thank you.