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Encyclopedia > Zydeco
Early Creole musicians playing an accordion and a washboard in front of a store, near New Iberia, Louisiana (1938). Zydeco music originated from Creole music — today's rubboard or frottoir is a stylized version of the early washboard.
Zydeco
Stylistic origins: Cajun music, African American blues and jazz
Cultural origins: Early 20th century Creoles in Louisiana
Typical instruments: Accordion, Vest Frottoir, Drums, Guitar, Bass guitar
Mainstream popularity: Little, except briefly in 1950s and mid-1980s US
Subgenres
Fusion genres
Swamp pop
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Zydeco

Zydeco is a form of American roots or folk music, that evolved from the jure during the late 1800s call and response vocal music of the black and multiracial French speaking Creoles of south and southwest Louisiana. During the early 20th century this soulful, heavily syncopated, indigenous roots music was discovered by ethnomusicologists and records labels alike. Usually fast-tempo, and dominated by the button or piano accordion and a form of a washboard known as a rub-board or frottoir zydeco music was originally created for house dances so the blacks and free people of color of south Louisiana could gather for socializing. As the Creoles further established their communities and worshiped separately as well, the music moved to the Catholic church community center and then later to the rural dance halls and nightclubs. As a result, the music integrated waltzes, shuffles, two-steps, blues, rock and roll, and most dance music forms of the era. Today, the tradition of change and evolution in the music continues always keeping relevant while integrating even more genres like reggae, urban hip-hop, R&B, soul, brass band, ska, rock, Afro Caribbean and other styles in addition to the traditional forms. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The word Creole is an adaptation of the Castillian-Spanish word criollo, which came into English from French between 1595 and 1605. ... The city of New Iberia is the parish seat of Iberia Parish, in the US state of Louisiana, 125 miles (201 km) west of New Orleans. ... Cajun music, an emblematic music of Louisiana, is rooted in the ballads of the French-speaking Catholics of Canada. ... An African American (also Afro-American, Black American, or simply black) is a member of an ethnic group in the United States whose ancestors, usually in predominant part, were indigenous to Africa. ... Blues is a vocal and instrumental form of music based on the use of the blue notes and a repetitive pattern that most often follows a twelve-bar structure. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... This article is about an ethnic culture in Louisiana, USA. For uses of the term Creole in other countries and cultures, see Creole (disambiguation). ... Official language(s) de jure: none de facto: English & French Capital Baton Rouge Largest city New Orleans [1] Area  Ranked 31st  - Total 51,885 sq mi (134,382 km²)  - Width 130 miles (210 km)  - Length 379 miles (610 km)  - % water 16  - Latitude 29°N to 33°N  - Longitude 89°W... A musical instrument is a device constructed or modified with the purpose of making music. ... This article is about the instrument as a whole. ... A vest frottoir is an instrument used in Zydeco music. ... For other kinds of drums, see drum (disambiguation). ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... The electric bass guitar (or electric bass) is a bass string instrument played with the fingers by plucking, slapping, or using a pick. ... Swamp pop musician Jivin Gene, circa 1959. ... Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... The Wikimedia Commons (also called Wikicommons) is a repository of free content images, sound and other multimedia files. ... Folk music can have a number of different meanings, including: Traditional music: The original meaning of the term folk music was synonymous with the term Traditional music, also often including World Music and Roots music; the term Traditional music was given its more specific meaning to distinguish it from the... The word Creole is an adaptation of the Castillian-Spanish word criollo, which came into English from French between 1595 and 1605. ... Official language(s) de jure: none de facto: English & French Capital Baton Rouge Largest city New Orleans [1] Area  Ranked 31st  - Total 51,885 sq mi (134,382 km²)  - Width 130 miles (210 km)  - Length 379 miles (610 km)  - % water 16  - Latitude 29°N to 33°N  - Longitude 89°W... In music, syncopation is the stressing of a normally unstressed beat in a bar or the failure to sound a tone on an accented beat. ... This article is about the instrument as a whole. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A washboard (left) and a piano player The Washboard is, literally, a clothes-cleaning washboard. ... A waltz (German: , Italian: , French: , Spanish: , Catalan: ) is a ballroom and folk dance in   time, done primarily in closed position. ... Shuffle, or shuffling, may refer to one of the following:: An act of randomization: Shuffling, the randomization of a deck of playing cards Shuffle play: the randomization of a playlist on a music playing device: see iPod Shuffle In music and dance: Shuffle note or swing note in music, and... Two-step may stand for: Dances Two-step (dance move), a dance move used in folk dance and various other kinds of dancing. ... Blues is a vocal and instrumental form of music based on the use of the blue notes and a repetitive pattern that most often follows a twelve-bar structure. ... Rock and roll (also spelled Rock n Roll, especially in its first decade), also called rock, is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Hip hop music. ... Rhythm and blues (or R & B) is a musical marketing term introduced in the United States in the late 1940s by Billboard magazine. ... For other uses, see Soul music (disambiguation). ... A brass band a musical group consisting mostly or entirely of brass instruments, often with a percussion section. ... Ska (pron. ... For other uses, see Rock music (disambiguation). ...

Contents

Instruments

The first zydeco vest frottoir (rubboard) was designed by Clifton Chenier, the "King of zydeco," in 1946 while he and his brother, Cleveland, were working at an oil refinery in Port Arthur, TX. The first zydeco rubboard made to Chenier's design was made at Chenier's request by their fellow Louisianian, Willie Landry, a master welder - fabricator, who was also working at the refinery. The zydeco rubboard, designed specifically for the genre solely as a percussion instrument, is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution. [1] A vest frottoir is an instrument used in Zydeco music. ... Clifton Chenier (June 25, 1925 - December 12, 1987) was the pre-eminent performer of zydeco music, a blend of Cajun and Creole music with R&B, jazz and blues influences. ... Port Arthur is a city in Jefferson County within the Beaumont-Port Arthur metropolitan area and is situated in southeast Texas. ... The Smithsonian Institution Building or Castle on the National Mall serves as the Institutions headquarters. ...


Other instruments common in zydeco include the old world accordion which is found in folk and roots music globally, guitar, bass guitar, drums, fiddle, horns and keyboards. This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... The electric bass guitar (or electric bass) is a bass string instrument played with the fingers by plucking, slapping, or using a pick. ... For other kinds of drums, see drum (disambiguation). ...


Evolution

Zydeco's rural beginnings and the prevailing economic conditions at its inception are reflected in the song titles, lyrics, and bluesy vocals. The music arose as a synthesis of traditional Creole music, some Cajun music influences, and African-American traditions including R&B, blues, jazz, and gospel. It was also often just called French music or le musique Creole known as "la-la". In many African languages there are words like "zari", "zariko", "zodico", and "zai'co laga laga", which meant "dance". Amédé Ardoin made the first recordings of Creole music in 1928. This Creole music served as a foundation for what later became known as zydeco. The music of Louisiana can be divided in to three general regions. ... Cajun music, an emblematic music of Louisiana, is rooted in the ballads of the French-speaking Catholics of Canada. ... Rhythm and blues (or R & B) is a musical marketing term introduced in the United States in the late 1940s by Billboard magazine. ... Blues is a vocal and instrumental form of music based on the use of the blue notes and a repetitive pattern that most often follows a twelve-bar structure. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Gospel music is a musical genre characterized by dominant vocals (often with strong use of harmony) referencing lyrics of a religious nature, particularly Christian. ... Amédé Ardoin (march 11, 1898 to 1941? or 1950?) was a black creole Louisiana musician, known for his high singing voice and virtuosity on the 10-button (diatonic or Cajun) accordion. ...


During World War II, many French speaking African Americans and Creoles from the area around Opelousas, LA. left a poor and prejudice south Louisiana for better economic opportunities in Texas. There were more that traveled even further to California for more social acceptance along with improved economic opportunities. For 150 years the Creoles lived insular, prospering, educating themselves without the government and building their invisible communities under the Code Noir. The Code Noir was a set of laws established in 1724 by the French because there were so many gens de coleur libres, or free people of color living in the state. This set of laws afforded them the right to own land, something few blacks/Creoles in the south had at that time. They became the leaders of their community after the Civil War ended and the African slaves were finally freed when the Union officials no longer recognized the Code Noir and anyone with any African heritage became part of one community, race and class. The 150 years of this separate status the Creoles had in a 3 tiered society left them frustrated and made their resolve even greater to succeed. The city of Opelousas is the parish seat of St. ...


The music was brought to the fringes of the American mainstream in the mid-1950s, with the popularity of Clifton Chenier, who was signed to Specialty Records, the same label that first recorded Little Richard and Sam Cooke for wide audiences. Chenier, considered the architect of contemporary zydeco, became the music's first major star, with early hits like "Les Haricots Sont Pas Salés" (The Snap Beans Ain't Salty — a reference to the singer being too poor to afford salt pork to season the beans). The term "zydeco" was a corruption of les haricots (French for the beans), and the name for the music was born. However, this was not the first zydeco song: in 1954, Boozoo Chavis, another popular zydeco artist, had recorded "Paper in My Shoe". This is considered to be the first modern zydeco recording, though the term "zydeco" was not in use yet (see 1954 in music). Specialty Records was an American record label. ... Richard Wayne Penniman (born December 5, 1932), better known by the stage name Little Richard, is an American singer, songwriter, and pianist, who began performing in the 1940s and recording from 1951. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Boozoo Chavis (born 23 October 1930 in Lake Charles, LA and died 5 May 2001 in Austin, Texas) was a zydeco musician - a form of Cajun music. ... See also: 1953 in music, other events of 1954, 1955 in music, 1950s in music and the list of years in music // Events Frank Sinatra wins the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in From Here To Eternity, 1953; resuscitating his singing career in the process Bing Crosby received a...


In the mid-1980s, Rockin' Sidney brought international attention to zydeco music with his hit tune "My Toot Toot". Clifton, Rockin Sidney and Queen Ida, all garnered Grammy awards during this pivotal period in the genre opening the door to the emerging artists who would continue the traditions. Ida is the only living Grammy award winner in the genre. Rockin' Dopsie recorded with Paul Simon and also signed a major label deal during this time. John Delafose was wildly popular regionally and then the music took a major turn because during this time there were emerging bands that burst onto the national scene during this critical time to fuse a new exuberance, new sounds and styles with the music. Boozoo Chavis, John Delafose, Roy Carrier, Zydeco Force, Nathan and The Zydeco Cha Chas, The Sam Brother, Terrance Simien, and Chubby Carrier, and many others were breathing new life into the music. Zydeco superstar, Buckwheat Zydeco was already well into his career, and signed his major label Island Records deal also in the mid 1980's. All of these things combined with the popularity of Cajun and Creole food nationally, and the feature film, The Big Easy, led to a resurgence of the Zydeco music traditions, cultivating new artists while the music took a more innovative direction for increased mainstream popularity. Rockin Sidney Simien ( April 9, 1938 - February 25, 1998) was an United States R&B, Zydeco, and Soul music musician who began recording in the late 1950s and continued performing until his death. ... Rockin Dopsie (February 10, 1932–August 26, 1993) was born Alton Rubin in Carencro, Louisiana. ... Paul Frederic Simon (born October 13, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, half of the folk-singing duo Simon and Garfunkel who continues a successful solo career. ... Zydeco Force is an American zydeco band from Opelousas, Louisiana, consisting of Bobby Robinson, Raymond Thomas and the three sons of Lawtell Playboys frontman Delton Broussard, Shelton, Herbert and Jeffrey Broussard. ... Terrance Simien is a zydeco musician, accordionist and song writer. ... Buckwheat playing at the 2006 Festival International de Louisiane. ... The Big Easy is a neo-noir film directed by Jim McBride and executive produced by Mort Engelberg. ...


Young zydeco musicians, such as C.J. Chenier, Chubby Carrier, Geno Delafose, Terrance Simien, Nathan Williams and others began touring internationally during the 1980s. Beau Jocque was a monumental innovator who infused zydeco with powerful beats and bass lines in the 90s, adding striking production and elements of funk, hip-hop and rap. Young performers like Chris Ardoin, Keith Frank, and Zydeco Force added further by tying the sound to the bass drum rhythm to accentuate or syncopate the backbeat even more. This style is sometimes called "double clutching." C.J. Chenier (born as Clayton Joseph Thompson in 1957 in Port Arthur, Texas) is the Creole son of the Grammy Award winning King of Zydeco, Louisiana musician Clifton Chenier. ... Geno Delafose (born January 1, 1972 in Eunice, Louisiana) is a zydeco accordionist and singer. ... Beau Jocque (real name: Andrus J. Espre) (November 1, 1953 - September 10, 1999) was an American zydeco musican active in the 1990s. ... Chris Ardoin (born 1981 in Louisiana) is a nouveau zydeco (a genre in the Creole tradition) accordionist. ... In music, syncopation is when a stressing of a normally unstressed beat in a bar or failure to sound a tone on an accented beat occurs. ...


Now there are hundreds of zydeco bands continuing the music traditions across the U.S. and in Europe. A prodigious 9-year-old zydeco accordionist, Guyland Leday was featured in an HBO documentary about how deeply music is felt by young people.


Today, because of the migration of the French speaking blacks and multiracial Creoles, mixing of Cajun and Creole musicians, and the warm embrace of people from outside these cultures, there are multiple hotbeds of zydeco: Louisiana, Texas and California, and even Europe as far North as Scandinavia. It is a genre that a has become synonymous with the cultural and musical identity of Louisiana and an important part of the music landscape of this country as one black southern music tradition that is loved worldwide. It is performed for presidents and celebrities, seen in film and heard advertising everything from autos to toothpaste to antacids, pharmaceuticals and candy bars. Rolling Stone, The Los Angeles Times, Time Magazine and dozens of other print media have featured it. It is heard on radio all over the world. It's performed at festivals, schools, performing art centers and large corporate events.


The Zydeco Rubboard (Frottoir) is recognized around the world as a a cultural icon of Louisiana. The impact of zydeco music inside southwest Louisiana, outside Louisiana and around the world is growing rapidly. There are zydeco festivals throughout America and Europe. Zydeco music is played on radio stations around the world and on Internet radio.


On June 7, 2007, The Recording Academy (NARAS) announced a new Grammy category, Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album, in its folk music field. June 7 is the 158th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (159th in leap years), with 207 days remaining. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is now the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ...


Musicians

Clifton Chenier (June 25, 1925 - December 12, 1987) was the pre-eminent performer of zydeco music, a blend of Cajun and Creole music with R&B, jazz and blues influences. ... Beau Jocque (real name: Andrus J. Espre) (November 1, 1953 - September 10, 1999) was an American zydeco musican active in the 1990s. ...

Footnotes

  1. ^ Frottoir History
American roots music
African American music | Appalachian/old-time | Blues (Ragtime) | Cajun music | Country (Honky tonk and Bluegrass) | Folk music revival (1950s/'60s) | Jazz (Dixieland) | Native American | Spirituals and Gospel | Swamp pop | Tejano | Zydeco

Louisiana roots music and dance American roots music is a broad category of music including country music, bluegrass, gospel, ragtime, jug bands, Appalachian folk, blues, Tejano and Cajun and Native American music. ... African American music (also called black music, formerly known as race music) is an umbrella term given to a range of musical genres emerging from or influenced by the culture of African Americans, who have long constituted a large ethnic minority of the population of the United States. ... Appalachian folk music is a distinctive genre of folk music originating in the Appalachia region of the United States of America. ... Blues is a vocal and instrumental form of music based on the use of the blue notes and a repetitive pattern that most often follows a twelve-bar structure. ... Look up ragtime in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Cajun music, an emblematic music of Louisiana, is rooted in the ballads of the French-speaking Catholics of Canada. ... This article includes a list of works cited but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Honky tonk was originally the name of a type of bar common throughout the southern United States, also Honkatonk or Honkey-tonk. ... Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music which has its own roots in Irish, Scottish and English traditional music. ... The American folk music revival was a phenomenon in the United States in the 1950s to mid-1960s. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Dixieland music is a style of jazz. ... There are hundreds of tribes of Native Americans (called the First Nations in Canada), each with diverse musical practices, spread across the United States and Canada (excluding Hawaiian music). ... == Historical background on spiritual music Spirituals were often expressions of religious faith, although they may also have served as socio-political protests veiled as assimilation to white, American culture. ... Gospel music is a musical genre characterized by dominant vocals (often with strong use of harmony) referencing lyrics of a religious nature, particularly Christian. ... Swamp pop musician Jivin Gene, circa 1959. ... Tejano[1] (Spanish for Texan) or Tex-Mex[2] music is the name given to various forms of folk and popular music originating among the Hispanic-descended Tejanos of Central and South Texas. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...

Bounce | Cajun Jig (One Step) | Cajun Jitterbug (Two Step) | Cajun music | Creole music | Dixieland | Jazz | Jazz funeral | Louisiana blues | New Orleans R&B | Second line | Swamp blues | Swamp pop | Zydeco | Zydeco (dance) This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Cajun Jig, also called Cajun One Step is the simplest one of all Cajun dances. ... Some people use the term for Cajun One Step. ... Cajun music, an emblematic music of Louisiana, is rooted in the ballads of the French-speaking Catholics of Canada. ... The music of Louisiana can be divided in to three general regions. ... Dixieland music is a style of jazz. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Jazz funeral is a unique American funeral tradition which occurs in New Orleans. ... The Louisiana blues is a type of blues music that is characterized by plodding rhythms that make the sound dark and tense. ... The phrase New Orleans rhythm and blues refers to a type of R&B music from New Orleans, Louisiana, that is characterized by extensive use of piano and horn sections, complex rhythms and celebratory lyrics. ... Second line is a traditional dance style that developed in New Orleans, Louisiana in the mid 1800s. ... The swamp blues is a form of blues music that is highly evolved and specialized. ... Swamp pop musician Jivin Gene, circa 1959. ... Zydeco as a dance style has its roots in a form of folk dance that corresponds to the heavily syncopated Zydeco music, originated in the beginning of the 20th century among the Francophone Creole peoples of Acadiana (south-west Louisiana). ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Zydeco - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (324 words)
Zydeco is a form of folk music, originated in the beginning of the 20th century among the Francophone Creole peoples of south-west Louisiana and influenced by the music of the French-speaking Cajuns.
Young zydeco musicians, such as Chubby Carrier, CJ Chenier and Rosie LeDet began emerging in the early 1990s.
The word "zydeco" is often said to have originated from the French les haricots meaning "the beans" from the song, "Les Haricots sont pas salés".
Buckwheat Zydeco - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (205 words)
November 14, 1947) is an accordionist and zydeco performer, one of the few to achieve mainstream success.
He soon signed to Island Records, the first zydeco act on a major label, and released On a Night Like This, critically acclaimed album that was nominated for a Grammy as well.
During the 1990s, Buckwheat Zydeco was less commercially successful than before, and switched labels constantly.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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