It is with a heavy heart that all of us here at Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience mourn this huge loss with his immediate family, children Alison and Reggie, his band mates and extended music family and fans the world over. We are crushed by this loss and cannot imagine the city of New Orleans without this great man. Sending much love and light to Alison and Reggie for strength over the coming days and weeks.
Yes, we all know he was a hugely successful songwriter, producer, performer and pianist, but more than that he was an incredible human being. When he spoke to you, he was thoughtful, articulate, present, engaged and sincere. We feel fortunate to have known him and to have spent a week on the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise with him from Oct. 24-31, 2015. That memorable week we were fans as well as performers. We knew going in that we were in for some magical moments of music. Irma Thomas was on performing with her skilled band, our dear friend Marcia Ball, Corey Harris, Marcella Simien, Rev. Billy Wurtz, Jarekus, Buckwheat Zydeco! It was a heavy line up of our friends and heroes. We are forever grateful to have been on that ship with all the greatness, especially Allen, a music genius, icon and legend, seeing his smiling face almost daily and being gifted with some of his final, poignant and powerful performances.
We often were on the same festival bill with him and he was always kind and encouraging to us young artists. He always took a moment to tell us how much he enjoyed our music and performances. Always. Each time Cynthia saw him, shook his hand and exchanged greetings-he never failed to tell her that he respected our artistry. A monster gentleman who will be missed by so many. Photo below: Oct. 23, 2015 (friend Joe Perez on the right)