NEW “BEST ZYDECO OR CAJUN MUSIC ALBUM” GRAMMY VOTING
CATEGORY ESTABLISHED BY THE RECORDING ACADEMY CAPPING A 6 _ YEAR
EFFORT LED BY TERRANCE AND CYNTHIA SIMIEN AND THE LOUISIANA ZYDECO
AND CAJUN MUSIC COMMUNITIES
LAFAYETTE, Louisiana (June 9, 2007) A new Grammy voting category
has been established by the Trustees and the Awards and Nominations
Committee of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
The Zydeco and Cajun Music community of Louisiana wishes to thank
the Academy for accepting our proposal for a dedicated category
under the current Folk Field. We will now join the Traditional and
Contemporary Folk/Americana, Native American and Hawaiian Music
categories. With this new category The Recording Academy has recognized
the critical contributions these “evolving genres” have
made to the diverse musical landscape of this country.
Previously Louisiana Zydeco and Cajun Music recordings were entered
in the general Contemporary and Traditional Folk categories. Contemporary
Folk is the category that houses entries from Bob Dylan to Johnny
Cash and Lucinda Williams to John Hiatt and was recently renamed
Contemporary Folk/Americana, with up to 200 recordings being entered
each year. Other Zydeco and Cajun Music recordings were entered
in the Traditional Folk categories, which is a smaller category
yielding some Cajun Music nominations. The last Cajun album to win
a Grammy was in 1997 from the band BeauSoilel. The last Zydeco Grammy
win was in 1985 with Rockin Sidney Simien from Lake Charles, LA
after Queen Ida Guillory and Clifton Chenier each won a Grammy in
1982 and 1983.
Now every year there will be 5 Zydeco and Cajun Music albums nominated
for a Grammy. From now on there will be one Zydeco or Cajun Music
album that will win a Grammy award every single year instead of
once every 10-20 years.
This is a great testament to how important the indigenous Zydeco
and Cajun Music recordings are to the cultural and musical identity
of Louisiana, the south and this country. For decades these internationally
known music genres have contributed significantly to cultural tourism,
the cultural economy and the cultural identity of Louisiana. Finally,
the source musicians; the creators of these indigenous genres will
be recognized next to their recording industry peers in the 109
Terrance Simien of Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience,
is an internationally known 25 year touring and recording artist
and respected Cultural Ambassador of Louisiana. Cynthia Simien,
965 Music Group is artist management and booking for Terrance Simien.
She is a National Trustee of The Recording Academy and on the Louisiana
Music Commission. Their non profit MusicMatters, Inc. is committed
to artist advocacy and education. We thank all of our community
and state partners, Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu, Chuck Morse and
the Office of Culture Recreation and Tourism, Lafayette Convention
and Visitors Commission, Michelle Leder and Ray Landry, The Cajun
French Music Association, Don and Charles Cravins, Cecil Doyle at
KRVS, Jon Hornyak, Executive Director of the Memphis Chapter of
the Recording Academy and Herman Fusilier of The Daily Advertiser
in Lafayette, LA.
Visit grammy.com for information on membership, advocacy and artist
My heartfelt congratulations to the two of you for reaching the
finish line – and for never giving up on your mission. You
two are proof that a single person or small group of people can
change the world. You’ve certainly changed the world for Acadiana
and Louisiana musicians from this day forth. You’ve got a
standing ovation from the staff of the Acadiana Arts Council! b
Acadiana Center for the Arts
Great news about the new Grammy category!
CONGRATULATIONS on all the hard work. Glad it paid off. Robert Wiley,
Wow, Guys! Congratulations!
You've done a wonderful thing for our state and for our culture.
Congratulations on the big Grammy announcement! I know that I don't
have to tell you what you have done, but you have tirelessly worked
toward this and it has all come to fruition...I know you feel great.
What an amazing accomplishment! You're to be congratulated and honored.
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org The National Blues Foundation
Congratulations. You did it. The Recording Academy agrees to a zydeco/cajun
category. I know that is two kinds of music, but is still better
Email - email@example.com
CONGRATULATIONS! And thank you for your tenacity and hard work.
This accomplishment is a permanent symbol of your lives and efforts.
I know that my feelings, and those of so many others, are beyond
words. You have honored Louisiana and enshrined your love and dedication.
This is a truly beautiful and awesome moment that now will annually
uplift us all. I am moved by joy and by my appreciation for you.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.CONGRATS! This is not only validation
of the genre but will ultimately expose exponentially more people
to our music. I've made sure our news dept got this and hopefully
they follow-up asap...they may already done something.... I'm in
El Paso catching some tex/mex musica...lots of similarities... but
will look forward to spreading the good news when I'm back next
Congratulations again...you have something to be very proud of!
KATC Channel 3 News, Lafayette
Great accomplishments follow great work! Congratulations to you
and Terrance on securing the Grammy category. I know how hard you
worked and how frustrating it was to deal with the skeptics. While
your accomplishment is already huge, I think history will show that
the designation of this category had a tremendous impact on the
overall economy of Acadiana.
Keep up the good work.
Geoffrey T. Stewart, Ph.D.
Department of Marketing & Hospitality
The University of Louisiana
June 8, 2007
Cajun/Zydeco Grammy® Category!
Filed under: Blogroll, Music — nolamotion @ 12:29 pm
A hard fought, more than 6 year battle, singularly led by a determined
Cynthia Simien, is finally won. There is now a Grammy® category
for Cajun & Zydeco music. The effort was perceived by Louisiana
music advocates as an obvious gap in the awards; but, the process
of adding a category was overwhelming to most. Cynthia Simien, whose
husband Terrance Simien is a major zydeco star and advocate, spent
countless hours working the system to achieve this milestone. She
not only joined the Recording Academy (NARAS), which gives the awards,
but rose through the organization to become a member of its regional
Board of Governors, Vice President and now Trustee where she worked
tirelessly to make this happen.
Though many people lent their names and time to this effort, it
is and was the work of Cynthia Simien that deserves the most credit.
She rightfully deserves accolades far beyond what I can give via
this blog. Those of us who know Cynthia and shared her energy and
her sometimes much-deserved wrath, are proud beyond words for her,
Terrance and for Louisiana. We now have a validation long sought;
and, every year, Cajun and Zydeco music will have a bright spotlight
as the Grammys® honor our best.
Thank you Cynthia & Terrance Simien. You have honored Louisiana
with this remarkable and permanent achievement.