Fiddler Michael Doucet loves performing in

Europe, where he says there is strong appreciation for the Cajun

and zydeco tunes of south Louisiana.

So when Doucet learned organizers of the New Orleans Jazz and

Heritage Festival planned to take local musicians to Britain for a

mini-Jazz Fest, Doucet jumped at the opportunity.

"Our music touches people there," said Doucet, lead singer of

the band BeauSoleil. "We come from a very small ethnic culture,

and they know that nobody else does what we do. They know Louisiana

is a cradle of music, from jazz, to blues to Cajun, and they love

when we bring it to them."

Doucet said he'll leave the Cajun-country capital of Lafayette

on Wednesday to join Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, Kermit Ruffins, the

Rebirth Brass Band and others for the free festival in London.

The event, billed as Festival New Orleans, is set for Friday and

Saturday and coincides with Sunday's NFL game between the New

Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers, which will be held at

Wembley Stadium.

For Louisiana, it's a showcase before an important audience: the