For more than 2 decades Grammy award winning artist Terrance Simien, an 8th generation Louisiana Creole, has been shattering myths about what his indigenous Creole Zydeco music is and is not. Leading his Zydeco Experience Band, Simien has become one of the most respected and internationally recognized touring and recording artists in roots music today. He has performed over 7000 concerts, toured millions of miles to over 40 countries, and reached at least a million people during his eventful 25 year career.
At the young age of 18 Simien began touring professionally and by 20 he was sharing the stage with Fats Domino and Sarah Vaughan at the Bern Jazz Festival. When he began his career in the early 1980’s there were only 2 zydeco bands touring nationally: it was only the young Simien and the Sam Brothers perpetuating the traditional indigenous zydeco roots music of their forefathers. Simien was critical to the “renaissance” of a rich music genre and has played a key role in preserving and elevating the traditions of Zydeco music.
During the past 25 years, Simien has shared studio and stage with Robert Palmer, Stevie Wonder, Los Lobos, Taj Mahal, Dr. John, the Meters, Alan Toussaint, Paul Simon and Dave Matthews Bandto name a few. He has also been featured in dozens of TV movies and commercials, and has contributed to the soundtracks of multiple Hollywood films including Disney’s Oscar-nominated The Princess and the Frog (2009) and Warner Brothers’ The Lucky One (2012).
In 2008, Simien won the Grammy Award for “Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album,” an award category he was vital in establishing only one year prior. Simien’s talents have made him a key figure in American musical heritage, and as such, in 2012 his band was chosen to represent the U.S. in the “America Days” celebrations in Ukraine and Georgia. His importance to music history and culture is also apparent as 2012 marked his 27th consecutive performance at the legendary New Orleans JazzFest.
What Other People Have Been Saying...
“Simien is a Zydeco Master: his voice yearning like Sam Cooke, he delivers soul worthy of Stax greats and shows crossover class.” -Rolling Stone
“…the most creative, diverse musician in modern zydeco.” -Amazon
“one of zydeco’s most innovative groups.” -The Boston Globe
“He had altered the course of zydeco forever. He has all the tools to be Zydeco’s crossover superstar: that one performer whose talent transcends genre.” -Mike Allen, Whatz Up!
“…One of the finest zydeco artists to emerge from south Louisiana.” –Billboard