& The Zydeco Experience
Thursday, July 18, 2019
7pm show/6pm doors
$20 advance/$25 door
SBS members: $20 online and at the door
Harlows | 2708 J Street, Sacramento CA 95819
"One of zydeco's most soulful vocalists and fieriest accordionists"
-Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide
For 35+ years, two- time GRAMMY award winning artist Terrance Simien, 8th generation Louisiana Creole has been shattering the myths about what his indigenous Zydeco roots music is – and is not. Leading his Zydeco Experience bandmates – long time member Danny Williams, Stan Chambers, Curtis Watson, Lance Ellis and Kevin Menard – Simien has become one of the most respected and accomplished artists in American roots music today. He and his band mates have performed over 8500 concerts, toured millions of miles to over 45 countries during their eventful career.
2019 marks Simien’s 34rd consecutive New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival – the gold standard for diversity in American roots music.
Born September 3, 1965, in Eunice, LA, he first heard zydeco at local dances as a boy, but did not show any real interest in the music until it began growing in popularity during the early '80s. After learning the accordion and writing a handful of songs in collaboration with his brother Greg, Simien formed his first band; in the years to follow, he honed his chops in area zydeco clubs each weekend, working as a bricklayer during the day. His big break arrived in 1984, when an appearance at the New Orleans World's Fair launched him to the attention of Paul Simon, with whom Simien recorded a cover of Clifton Chenier's "You Used to Call Me." He also was appeared with several performances and speaking part in the 1986 feature film The Big Easy, writing and performing a song with star Dennis Quaid.
With his band the Mallet Playboys, Simien made his full-length debut in 1990 with Zydeco on the Bayou; There's Room for Us All (Black Top) followed in 1993, and after a six-year recording hiatus he returned with Positively Beadhead. In 2001 Simien released the interesting Tribute Sessions, which was split between narrative by Simien and actual music tracks paying tribute to some of his influences. Across the Parish Line (2006) followed a year later in 2007 by Live World Wide, where he garnered his first Grammy win.They won their second GRAMMY in 2013, Dockside Sessions for Best Regional Roots Record, produced by George Receli, (Bob Dylan, White Trash, Lou Garou).
Simien and his group have toured internationally, presenting over 10,000 live performances in more than 45 countries, and released dozens of solo recordings and collaborations. He has shared studio and stage with Paul Simon, Dr. John, The Meters, Marcia Ball, Dave Matthews, Stevie Wonder, Robert Palmer and Los Lobos.
Simien has appeared on screen and contributed to the soundtracks of multiple movies, television films and commercials. He appears on the soundtrack of the 2009 Disney film, The Princess and the Frog set in the French Quarter of New Orleans, featuring authentic Louisiana music scored by Randy Newman. He has also contributed to the soundtracks of movies, such as The Big Easy(1986), Exit To Eden(1994) and A Murder Of Crows(1998).
Simien and his business partner/wife, Cynthia, are active in Creole music education and advocacy. They created the "Creole for Kidz & The History of Zydeco" performing arts program, which provides informational performances to K-12 students, teachers and parents. Since it was created in 2001, Creole for Kidz has reached nearly 500,000 students, parents and teachers in more than 20 states, Mali, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Paraguay, Canada and Australia.
The Simiens understand the importance of mentoring emerging artists and created MusicMatters, Inc., a non-profit for education and advocacy.
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