Terrance Simien, born in Mallet, Louisiana in 1965, is an 8th generation Louisiana Creole. His first instruments were piano and trumpet, then as a teen he taught himself to play the accordion. Forming the band Terrance Simien & The Mallet Playboys, he began playing regional church halls and clubs in his native Louisiana. As the elders of the genre were passing in the 1980s, he helped revive zydeco for a new generation and soon was making the festival circuit.


In 1990 he recorded Zydeco on the Bayou for Demon Records. Consequently, as an ambassador for zydeco, he has had great successes. Simien, who lobbied for the inclusion of a Grammy award category for zydeco music, was along with his present band, the Zydeco Experience a 2008 Grammy winner for Dockside Sessions (Music Matters Records), a set of traditional zydeco in French, supplemented by adapted covers of songs by Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, and Toots & the Maytals.


He has contributed to the soundtracks of feature films (The Big Easy, Exit to Eden, A Murder
of Crows, and Disney’s The Princess and the Frog, set in New Orleans’ French Quarter), plus TV and commercial work. This April he made his astonishing 33rd consecutive appearance at the prestigious New Orleans Jazz Festival.

He and his wife Cynthia are active in Creole for Kidz, a national and international performing arts program promoting the history and culture of Zydeco.

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