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Michigan State University

Ready, Set, Zydeco with Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience

Wharton Center for Performing Arts

April 26, 2025

Performing Arts

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When it comes to Creole culture and Zydeco music, two-time Grammy award winning Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience represent hard. They represent the past, the present and the future of Black roots music. This six piece multigenerational and multicultural group is highly skilled, formally trained and are very experienced performers, and in every profession, experience still matters – a lot!

True to himself and his deep Creole roots, Simien personifies authenticity as he pushes the boundaries of his genre to elevate its visibility. Now enjoying OG (legendary) status of an accomplished 40+ year career, Simien and his loyal bandmates & creative collaborators, have toured to more than 40+ countries and performed over 7500 concerts. Their Creole for Kidz and the History of Zydeco educational program & performance developed 24 years ago for K-12 and college students has helped raise the cultural IQ of more than 250,000 students, parents and teachers around the globe.

In 2009, Simien was called by the head of music at Disney to collaborate with the legendary songwriter, Randy Newman on a song for an historic animated film The Princess and the Frog set in New Orleans. This movie featured Disney’s first ever Black princess, Princess Tiana an aspiring chef. The word zydeco was actually spoken in the film by Ray the Firefly, a main character who stole our hearts in the film.