Disney Family Fun Magazine picked this recording as One Of Our Favorite Things in Feb. 2006.
"Grab your accordion and frottoir (rubboard) and get ready to do a Creole Two-Step! Accordion player Terrance Simien taps into his Creole roots to share his love for both his Zydeco music and the Creole culture in this offering. A mix of Zydeco standards (“Midland Two Step”) and new music penned by Simien (“Wishin to Go Crawfishin”) covers a wide range from the sweet a capella “Song of a Creole Slave” to the upbeat “Oldest Living Tree” to the swinging “Oh My Lucille.” Simien and his band perform these well-paced selections with precision. Fellow Creole State Senator Donald Cravins introduces each musical selection with background information, setting the stage and mood for the music. Cravins’ rich baritone resonates and his Creole accent flavors a well-researched, thoughtful text written to build understanding of the culture. This fine introduction to the Native American, French, African, Spanish culture that exists in Southwestern Louisiana fills a void. An excellent choice for collections about Creole/South Louisiana culture as well as for music educators."
School Library Journal, All grade levels Multimedia Audio Review
“You performed today for Spirit Lake, IA elementary students and you rocked their world! Thanks for bringing great culture to our small town of sameness. We all loved the performance and I had a blast on stage" Angela, Spirit Lake Elementary
“Thank you so much for all your work to present this program at COCA and in the St. Louis Community. It was such a pleasure to work with you and the band, and the audience response was unlike anything I’ve seen before. You made such a lasting impression on our children and families.” Jill Gillespie, St. Louis, MO
“THANK YOU so much for working with us on getting Terrance and the band in our community for close to a week. It has been the most heartwarming and empowering experience I have seen in my 9 years at Carnegie Hall. Terrance is the only one who has been able to get the students and teachers so involved in a show that they gave him and encore and the school ALLOWED it! The community is buzzing about the shows...they touched the hearts of over 2400 school children in our county. EVERY middle school student was able to have a zydeco experience. " Lynn Creamer, Artist Director, West Virginia
“This project addresses a long standing need in Louisiana’s educational system which has regrettably ignored the critically important historical, cultural and linguistic contributions of the state’s large Creole community”
Dr. Carl Brasseaux, Louisiana History ULL, Lafayette
“I've been teaching for 19 years, and I have searched high and low for information on the Acadiana Creoles. My Creole students hunger for information on this, and I have tried in vain to find a substantial enough amount of material to even teach a lesson. I congratulate you on your efforts and want to thank you for helping us to teach our students about their culture.”
Liz Simoneaux Dorsey, Lafayette Middle School
“Raising Hip Kids: A Children’s Music Primer. ‘On his Creole for Kidz’, Simien tones it down to an appropriate level for children without sacrificing any of the energy inherent to his music. In the process he produced an interesting lesson on the culture of the French speaking Creoles of southern Louisiana. They have delivered a wonderful little cultural nugget that will go a long way towards raising a well rounded little music fan.” The Music Box, Chicago, IL
"Terrance Simien has been taking his live-music extravaganza to schools and performance spaces throughout Louisiana and around the country for some years. His mission has been to pass on to a new generation of young people an awareness of Creole culture and its unique blending of West African, Spanish, and French influences. No wonder his musical history program is being made available as part of the curriculum in some school districts. What an irresistible way to learn something important about Creole identity, its history, its spirit, and its capacity for mixing things together and coming out with something truly, wonderfully delicious." John Cech, Director of Recess
Recess is a daily radio program that explores the world of children's culture, past and present. WUFT- The Center for the Study of Children's Literature and Media is an interdisciplinary center based in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Florida, Gainesville. The program is linked to 500 public radio stations across the country & over 1300 shows have been aired.
Artist Profile: For more than 2 decades Grammy award winning artist Terrance Simien, 8th generation Louisiana Creole has been shattering the myths about what his indigenous Creole Zydeco music is and is not. Leading his Zydeco Experience Band, Simien has become a highly respected, internationally recognized touring and recording artist and Cultural Ambassador for his state. He has presented thousands of performances, toured millions of miles to over 40 countries and reached at least a million people during his eventful 25 year career.
Born in 1965 (appropriately) into the hippie folk and soul music era, Simien grew artistically being influenced by all of the great music that has defined our country’s musical legacy, including music from that era. He was as influenced by Dylan and Simon and Garfunkel as he was by Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke and the Meters. His family is documented in history books as one of the first Creole families that settled St. Landry Parish and he was deeply affected by those great Creole music pioneers like Chenier, Delafose, Chavis, Ardoin and Fontenot to name a few. He counts himself one of the fortunate, as he is the last generation with a direct link to these artists, some of whom mentored him as an emerging talent. In turn he has assumed that same role to a new generation of young Zydeco players. Simien understands how critical mentoring is to the survival of this indigenous music that has become synonymous with the cultural identity of Louisiana and the South as well as being an important part of the musical landscape of this country.
At the young age of 18 Simien began touring professionally full time and by 20 he was sharing the stage with Fats Domino and Sarah Vaughn at the Bern Jazz Festival. It just exploded from there and Terrance remains a pivotal part of Zydeco music history because when he began his career in the early 1980's there were only 2 emerging bands touring nationally. It was quite simply the young Terrance and the Sam Brothers who were perpetuating the traditional indigenous zydeco roots music of their musical forefathers. He became a critical part of the "renaissance" of a music genre that was in jeopardy of dying off. Clifton Chenier had passed away in 1987 and by the end of the 1990’s all of the Zydeco pioneers had also died, leaving Terrance as one of the most experienced, talented and knowledgeable to carry the Zydeco music torch.
Simien is blessed with an extraordinary talent that expresses the deepest human emotions through the original instrument: The Voice. His eclectic fusion of Zydeco takes you on a multicultural musical tour of the world. Incorporating diverse music styles he creates a hypnotic blend of Zydeco-roots-New Orleans funk-reggae-flavored-Afro-Caribbean-world music that will force you out of your seat and onto the dance floor. He has found a way to express himself as a relevant and evolving artist who remains reverent to his roots and musical legacy. His live performances have garnered him a level of international success and his fully engaged audiences around the globe have become more Zydeco Experienced than ever before!
During the past 25 years Simien has shared studio and stage with Robert Palmer, Stevie Wonder, Los Lobos, Taj Mahal, Dr. John, the Meters, Alan Toussaint, Paul Simon and Dave Matthews Band to name a few. He has been featured in dozens of films, including the blockbuster hit “The Big Easy”, TV movies and commercials. His music has been heard on public radio, FM and NPR syndicated radio shows, Voice of American and satellite radio heard by millions worldwide. His recordings have been praised by Rolling Stone, Billboard, other notable music industry publications and major daily newspapers. His extensive discography dates back to vinyl 45’s! Since his debut on a major rock label in 1991, he now has a total of 7 full length CD’s and dozens of compilations and guest appearances.
In 2005 he became the first Zydeco artist to perform in Cuba for the US State Department. In 2006, Carnegie Hall sent him and his band to Mali, West Africa to present “Creole for Kidz & The History of Zydeco” as part of a unique distance learning program entitled Global Encounters. 2007 offered another global opportunity and a rare Creole cultural exchange and tour with the US State Department to Mauritius, Rodrigues and Seychelles where he connected his own Creole culture with the indigenous Creole/Kreol population of these countries. He and his band were the first American artists to perform in Rodrigues, a country of 40,000 people with a Creole culture still in tact.
He has received countless awards, grants and recognition for his artistry as well as his contributions to help raise the professional standards by mentoring his fellow and emerging artists about the music industry. He worked closely with HBO producers and was seen on the HBO documentary film “The Music in Me: Children’s Recitals from Classical to Latin, Jazz to Zydeco ” featuring the young Guyland Leday, whom he purchased a custom made accordion for. Simien was then featured on The Ellen Degeneres Show with Guyland. In 2008 The Louisiana Office of Tourism selected Simien as one of their Louisiana celebrities to be featured in national television commercials and print ads. Simien is currently working on a non fiction book for students about Creole culture and zydeco music.
Simien, along with business partner/wife was successful in helping to establish a new Grammy voting category in 2007. In 2008 he opened the Grammy pretelecast awards ceremony with a 10 minute performance. Later that day he received his own Grammy for “Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album” at the 50th annual awards!