Shout it from the rooftops, tell everybody you know—Terrance Simien is returning to our community! All of us who enjoyed his appearance here a couple of years ago vividly remember the incredibly energetic joy he and his cohorts ignited wherever they performed as they reveled in the music they so skillfully produced. Darke County Center for the Arts will present Terrance and his Zydeco Experience Band in concert at The Bistro Off Broadway on Thursday, October 26 as part of DCCA’s casual Coffeehouse Series; the show starts at 7 p.m. Terrance and the band will also be performing for fourth through sixth grade students at all local public schools during the week of October 23.
Terrance, an eighth generation Creole, has been playing the indigenous music of his people since he was a teenager in the late 1970s, and has lost none of his commitment or enthusiasm in the intervening decades. Terrance, born into the hippie folk and soul music era, was influenced and inspired by almost all of the music from that period, from Bob Dylan to Simon and Garfunkel to Sam Cook to the Commodores; but his musical roots spring from his Creole heritage. Terrance’s influence has been vital to the renaissance of Zydeco in this country and around the world.
The Simiens were among the first families to settle in southwest Louisiana, arriving in the area in the mid-1700s. Although the first language of Louisiana Creoles is French, their culture is an exotic blend of African, French, Spanish, and Native American heritage, blending old world ingredients into the new world to form a marvelous cultural gumbo that has gifted the nation with an authentic cuisine and a rich music tradition that have earned Louisiana a highly-regarded international reputation.
Blessed with an extraordinary talent that expresses the deepest human emotions through the original human instrument, the voice, Terrance takes his audiences on a multicultural tour of the world, creating a hypnotic blend of New Orleans funk-reggae-world-blues-American roots music that gets audiences into the groove and onto their feet. Terrance has represented his country and his culture across the globe, performing in Cuba for the U.S. State Department and in Mali as part of Carnegie Hall’s unique Global Encounters program.
His groundbreaking Creole for Kids Arts In Education program has been presented to over 500,000 people since its debut, increasing cultural literacy about zydeco roots music as well as building a fan base for the art form. The melody for zydeco music is provided by the accordion, an old world instrument played by folk musicians all over the world, but the instrument that makes zydeco become zydeco is the frottoir, the washboard often worn as a vest that provides the rhythm undergirding the music. The frottoir, which means “friction strip” in French and is one of the very first percussion instruments created in the United States, has also been successfully utilized by rock musicians including Bruce Springsteen and ZZ Top.
Do not miss this opportunity to partake of an amazing cultural experience that generates wonder and joy, ultimately producing a really good time for all concerned. Tickets for the Coffeehouse concert at the Bistro Off Broadway by Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience Band cost $10, and can be reserved by contacting DCCA at 937-547-0908 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or purchased at DCCA’s office located within Greenville Public Library or online at www.CenterForArts.net. If any remain by showtime, tickets will also be available at the door. To make dinner reservations, contact The Bistro at 937-316-5000. The Arts In Education shows which are free and open to the public are scheduled in coordination with local schools; contact DCCA for more information regarding specific times and locations.
Marilyn Delk is a director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at email@example.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.