LAKE OCONEE — Have you ever taken part in the Zydeco Experience?
It's a hypnotic blend of New Orleans reggae coupled with traditional Zydeco influences that has audiences clapping and dancing in and out of their seats. This unique blend of harmony comes from the union of a dynamic band and a Creole voice accompanied by an accordion. Singer and accordion pumper Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience brought a taste of Louisiana's musical heritage to residents of Morgan County at the Madison Morgan Cultural Center Jan. 18. Young and old danced the night away while enjoying an evening of Creole Zydeco music in the Center's Hall on Foster Street.
"The object of the music is to dance. That's actually the translation of the African word Zydeco,” said Simien in a Rolling Stone magazine interview. Besides Rolling Stone, Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience have been featured in Billboard magazine, Blues Review and many other notable music industry publications.
Simien is an eighth generation Creole whose family was among the earliest to settle in Louisiana. With his soulful accordion and French-accented vocals, he filled the Madison Morgan Cultural Center with old school Louisiana melodies. The group performed music from his album "Across the Parish Line" which celebrates the diversity of Louisiana musical culture.
Along with the musical performance, the Madison Morgan Cultural Center also offered a program for kids called “Creole for Kids, a History of Zydeco.” Simien calls it an 'informance' because it's an informational performance that teaches kids about zydeco music while providing them with a chance to hear it first hand through his performance.
Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience hope to keep the traditional Creole sounds of Louisiana alive and beating in the hearts of not only southerners but for anyone across the country who loves to dance.