Archive Files of Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco Musicians
Posted between 1999 and 2008

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 Zydeco/Cajun Grammy
  Benefit at Whiskey River Landing
February 14, 2004

UPDATE: Zydeco/Cajun Category Added 6-7-07

The six-year campaign by Terrance and Cynthia Simien to get the Grammy Awards to include a Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album Category has succeeded. The Recording Academy announced the establishment of the new category June 7, 2007.

Here is a link to the  page posted by Terrance and Cynthia Simien describing events and activities leading to the establishment of a separate category..

The effort is part of broader artist advocacy and education activities described on their Music Matters page. The National Recording Academy is already helping Louisiana musicians in need through its MusiCares program.

The photos on this page were taken at a benefit held at Whiskey River Landing in Henderson on February 14, 2004, to raise funds to promote Cajun and Zydeco music as a separate category in the Grammy Awards. The event was co-sponsored by Music Matters, the Cajun French Music Association, and Louisiana Folk Roots.

Since 2001, Zydeco musician Terrance Simien and his wife, Cynthia, have been working hard to achieve this goal. Currently Cajun and Zydeco musicians are categorized either in the traditional or contemporary folk designations.

Given the number of musicians performing the unique music of Southwest Louisiana, the number of CDs released each year, and, most of all, the continuing excellence of their music and musicianship over many decades, adding a separate category for Cajun and Zydeco music seems long overdue. In 2004, the Grammies added a "Best Hawaiian Music Album" category after a 15-year effort by musicians from the islands to gain recognition, so the hard work and commitment can pay off.

 One key is to gain enough voting members in the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Click here for more information on the membership criteria. Fundraising activities help to sponsor memberships for musicians.

If having a good time was one of the criteria to establish a Grammy category, Cajun and Zydeco music would long ago have gained automatic acceptance by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. The bands shown on this page are Don Fontenot and Les Amis de la Louisiane (Don Fontenot is shown in the right column on accordion), Thomas "Big Hat" Fields and his Foot Stompin' Zydeco Band (shown with Rodney Bernard on scrubboard), and, moving down the left column, Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys, and Gerard Delafose, who performed with Geno Delafose and French Rockin' Boogie. Later that night, Dexter Ardoin and the Creole Ramblers performed.

Posted 8-13-04

All photographs and text by David Simpson.

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