Creole for Kidz & The History of Zydeco is a CD and live show created by musician and educator Terrance Simien. He’s taken the show on the road up and down the eastern seaboard, including a special presentation at the Berklee College of Music for its American Roots Music and African Studies visiting arts program, to educate students about creole culture and music.
It all started with a conversation Terrance had with his good friend and ethnomusicologist, Taj Mahal, who insisted Terrance tell his important story through song. Simien had long been frustrated by the lack of representation and resources dedicated to the Creole culture like what had been to the Cajun cultural awareness. Terrance got busy. He hunkered down, did months and months of research and wrote original songs and narration for his recording project. He then developed study guide materials.
The success of Creole for Kidz & The History of Zydeco led to Simien contributing to the soundtrack of Disney’s The Princess and the Frog with the song “Gonna Take You There,” now a highlight of the sing-along segment of the live show.
Watch a trailer for the program below, followed by a clip of “Gonna Take You There” (that’s Simien on accordion and rubboard) and check out the study guide on the Creole for Kidz website here.