|Cynthia and Terrance Simien are shown
in the top photos addressing the crowd and recognizing the
many supporters of the successful effort to add a Zydeco/Cajun
Grammy category. The Cajun musicians who performed first in
the program are, from left (third thumbnail), Louis Michot,
Chris Stafford, Steve Riley, and Anna Laura Edmiston. Leon
Chavis and the Zydeco Flames played after the recognition
portion of the program, which was held June 13, 2007, at
Grant Street Dance Hall in Lafayette.
Click for high res photos on Flickr.
For six-and-one-half years,
Cynthia Simien worked tirelessly to get the Recording Academy to add
a Zydeco-Cajun Category to the annual Grammy awards. She and her
husband, zydeco star Terrance Simien, contacted, cajoled,
buttonholed, and persuaded anyone and everyone involved in music,
media, government, business, or tourism to join the effort. They got
enough zydeco and Cajun musicians to support the award to convince
the Recording Academy that the genres produce far more than enough
recordings each year to merit a separate category—there were 41
zydeco and Cajun recordings submitted in 2006 when the minimum is
25. The announcement from the Recording Academy came June 7, 2007.
Cynthia and Terrance
celebrated the achievement with a gathering at Grant Street Music
Hall in Lafayette June 13, 2007. Present were various leaders in
government, the music industry, cultural organizations, and the
media who had participated in the effort.
Perhaps even more
importantly for the future success of the award category, many
musicians were also in attendance. Those who haven’t already done so
will need to become voting members in the Academy to assure that the
award is given to musicians whom their peers truly believe deserve
the honor in the zydeco/Cajun category.
Along with the expressions
of thanks, congratulation, and encouragement to become involved as
voting members of the Recording Academy, the evening, of course,
included some great music. Cajun music was provided by Chris
Stafford and Anna Laura Edmiston of Feufollet, joined by Louis
Michot and, on several numbers, Steve Riley. The evening ended with
zydeco played by Leon Chavis and the Zydeco Flames.
Click here to go to the
Official Terrance Simien Web Site.
Click here to go to the Recording Academy membership page (the
Simiens have been participating in the Memphis chapter).
Click here to go to LSUE
Terrance Simien and on a
fundraiser to benefit the Grammy effort.
Note: Terrance Simien
won the first Zydeco/Cajun Grammy awarded in 2008.
Go to Terrance's Official
Web Site for details.