For the first Zydeco Crossroads concert back in December, we thought it would be important to introduce the dance aspect of the experience along with the music. So Harold Guillory, a dance instructor from Lake Charles, LA traveled up to Philadelphia with Curley Taylor to lead the sold-out Kimmel Center crowd in a dance lesson before the show. We interviewed Guillory about the dance’s ability to draw new people to the music, why it sets zydeco apart and how it allows fans to express themselves in a different way. Read more
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.
On June 6th the program will be presented at a free event in conjunction with Celebrate Brooklyn! at the Prospect Park Bandshell. Read more
Historians can look back to several junctures of time and place in American music when it was clear that something significant was happening. For Southern blues, it might have been Beale Street in Memphis in the early 1950s, when B.B. King and Bobby “Blue” Bland pioneered a modern blues sound that continues to resonate today. For bebop, it might have been 52nd Street in New York City in the 1940s, when Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk deconstructed jazz. For zydeco, I would argue that it was Southwest Louisiana in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when Boozoo Chavis came roaring back onto the scene at Richard’s Club in Lawtell. Read more.
When I first heard Beau Jocque in 1992 at the Quarterback Lounge in a rundown neighborhood of Lafayette, Louisiana, I felt as if I had been transported to a primeval moment in which all the music I loved—funk, blues, R&B and zydeco— had coalesced into a single, relentless groove. I was also a little bit scared. Read more
Last February, Amy Nicole left Opelousas, La. on cloud nine. She was headed to Boston, Richmond and other cities on the first East Coast tour of her two-year music career. Read more
Nicole had no idea four snowstorms and record cold temperatures were waiting. Three-hour trips between gigs turned into eight-hour nightmares.
Born to a family of sharecroppers in Carencro, Louisiana in 1940, the late Fernest Arceneaux learned accordion early. He later dropped it and took up the guitar, playing rhythm & blues. Legend says that Clifton Chenier himself persuaded Arceneaux to go back to the accordion. He played mostly triple-row accordion, smaller than the piano key type. Read more