Laura Huval’s childhood was filled with a love of music and family.
Huval’s late father was Cajun music legend and Grammy-nominee Al “Pyook” Berard. Her family home in Cecilia was often littered with numerous instruments — electric and acoustic guitars and fiddles, all of which her father had mastered over the years.
Berard spent his life devoted to creating and performing music, and his daughters followed in his footsteps.
Huval, along with her sister Maegan Berard and their cousin Callie Guidry, make up the American folk-Cajun-rock trio of Sweet Cecilia. The band released a debut album earlier this year and has collaborated with other musicians such as Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys.
For Duval, the highlight of her musical career were the times she shared a stage singing in French with her father under the name “Al Berard Et Les Filles.”
“Being able to play those five years together was just the best thing ever,” Huval said. “It was truly a blessing and a treasure.”
Huval is hoping that love will be shared Saturday during the second Al Berard Music Festival at the Henry Guidry Memorial Park in Henderson. General admission is $10. Gates open at 10 a.m.
Berard, best known for his work with The Basin Brothers, passed away in February 2014 after suffering an aneurysm. It wasn’t long after his death that the idea for the festival took hold.
“Almost immediately following his death, the local community kept saying that we needed to do something about honoring his memory,” Huval said.
The family created the Al Berard Memorial Music Fund at Community Foundation of Acadiana. The festival serves as fundraiser for the fund, which in turn helps spread music around St. Martin and St. Landry Parishes and beyond.
“We created the fund with the goal of promoting music education for all ages,” Duval said. “We have been able to help spread music around the area.”
This year’s lineup features more than 10 musical acts, starting with Jambalaya avec D.L. Menard taking the stage at 10:30 a.m. Roddie Romero & the Hub City All Stars close the night at 9:50 p.m. The majority of the bands are regionally-based, with several of them having played at one time with Berard.
“Most of the bands that are playing have all personal connections to my father,” Duval said. “That is pretty important, and we want to keep that going. We want to keep more bands and people that he played with performing.”
Having those people that shared her father’s passion has also helped Duval understand and appreciate the struggles her family had to go through while Berard was on the road all those years.
“At the funeral, we saw all the outpouring of love for him,” Huval said. “We always knew he was special man, but we didn’t know the impact he had. We struggled a lot. We had to eat eggs and rice a lot of nights, but we wouldn’t change a single thing.
“It was so worth it. My father was all about spreading the love with his music. We are trying to do the same thing with this festival.”
2015 Al Berard Music Festival
10:30 a.m.: Jambayla avec D.L. Menard
11:50 a.m.: Forest Huval and Friends
1 p.m.: Jason Frey
2:20 p.m.: Lee Benoit
3:40 p.m.: Paul Daigle
5 p.m.: Huval Family Band and Dance Competition
6:30 p.m.: Nik-L-Beer
7:50 p.m.: Basin Brothers
8:30 p.m.: Bonsoir, Catin
9:50 p.m.: Roddie Romero and the Hub City All Stars
11 a.m.: Brazos Huval School of Music Kids’ Jam
Noon: Linda Castle, Scooter Yerow and Tina Pilione
1 p.m.: Ade and Chad Huval
2 p.m.: Jimmy Breaux and Wilson Savoy
3 p.m.: Blake Miller & Forest Huval
4 p.m.: Country music jam with Dustin Sonnier and Courtney Granger