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Saturday, 25 June 2011 00:05

Although it may be impossible to pin down the actual origin of zydeco music, a theory most often believed is that the word zydeco is from the African word zari, which means dance. The music first came on the scene throughout

South Louisiana in the mid 1990’s and the rhythmic beat has continually gained in popularity ever since.

The instruments most commonly found in zydeco bands include an accordion, an electric guitar, bass, drums, fiddles, and a washboard modified to hang from the shoulders and stroked with metal spoons keeping time with the beat. This washboard is known as a frottoir (fro-twa’). Today many zydeco bands also include horns and keyboards. The unique sound includes a “double-kick” on the bass drum emphasizing the pulsating rhythm.

Many bands feature lyrics in both French and English; but the beat is what attracts most fans to the sound. There are many bands throughout South Louisiana and any city or country nightclub will feature live music at least one or two nights a week.

The artist credited with bringing zydeco music to the forefront is Clifton Chenier. It has been through his talents that other performing groups have joined in this uniquely Cajun musical genre.

Check out the video below and see if you are also caught up in the zydeco rhythms.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 July 2011 16:34