guylandHBO2We all know how much Music Matters. We also know how important it is that we value and support those who create it. MusicMatters, Inc. was established in 2001 as a non profit 501c3 to support Terrance’s artist advocacy and education efforts. It’s a fact that rural communities in this country get neglected on just about every issue: education, health care and technology to name a few.  A single online search will produce a dozen or more websites dedicated to rural America. In Louisiana, zydeco is an important part of the rural culture of St. Landry Parish, where Terrance was born. In fact some might say it’s a defining factor in the cultural identity of rural SoLA. (South Louisiana). The city of Opelousas is at the epi-centre for zydeco and is considered the “Zydeco Capital of the World”.  Many zydeco artists from these rural parishes are without advanced skills and access to a music business infrastructure to help them develop their careers. There are literally NO non profits actively working with emerging or aging zydeco artists. The new music business model is DYI for the independent artist and it is being embraced by many of our young artists who are having great success. However, there are many who still need basic information & direct contact with those who are experienced in the industry. They can also benefit from advocacy for their well being and economic health-we all need someone in our corner!

Please place value on and consume local music

There is an insatiable appetite in this country for all things local, farm to table produce, meat and other culinary products. There is a national effort to support local merchants and eating establishments whenever possible over national chains. However as history has proven, many times people take their own music heritage and culture for granted. We often don’t purchase our own music brands that have been exported all over the world for decades. Some say, “that’s just the way it is” or “you’re never a prophet in your own back yard.” Well, we don’t buy that and we do not subscribe to that philosophy. Never have. Never will! Many of our local artists are living proof it does not have to be that way. They are taking ownership of the music heritage and monetizing their craft and are changing the attitude of the younger consumer who is investing in their local music by attending a ticketed performance or purchasing CD’s/artist merch. There is the other camp of zydeco artists, that Terrance falls into, who have exported the music around the world full time for decades.

One of our proudest accomplishments

The Music in Me: Children’s Recitals From Classical to Latin, Jazz To Zydeco” is an HBO documentary film featuring our own Guyland Leday released in 2006 and still airs today. Terrance can also be seen on this fabulous film. PDF New York Times feature about the project here: Guyland Leday NYTimes. We are doc film fanatics around here. That’s our reality TV! We are here to tell you that HBO doc films are the highest quality and we know firsthand how much time, the mostly female, creative team from HBO invested in this project. We were at their side every step of the way as they experienced Guyland and Louisiana rural Creole culture for the first time. The New York Times article about the project can be found here!

In 2013 MusicMatters Records released its first independent, GRAMMY award winning CD “Dockside Sessions” under this imprint. We’re very pleased and honored to announce our newest recording project “92” but the remarkable Henry Gray. Henry is one of our most valuable Louisiana sons and internationally respected traditional bluesmen. CD cover image courtesy of Lynn Abbott, Hogan Jazz Archives, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA. This photo was shot in 1984 @ The World’s Fair Louisiana Folk Life Pavilion, New Orleans. This was the first time Terrance met Henry, and as a young artist himself, was mighty impressed with the seasoned and skilled Mr. Gray. henrygray92.cvr

 At 92 Henry Gray holds a unique place in a rare category of nonagenarians – those between the age of 90 and 99- men and women who are still living full lives and accomplishing great things in their profession. Make no mistake though, Henry Gray has been accomplishing great things for 70 years. He is a living legend, a national treasure, a pioneer of postwar Chicago blues, and a Grammy nominated artist whose storied and enduring music career is as intriguing as any artist living today. Henry’s piano skills remain switchblade sharp, his voice retains its strength and expressiveness, and he continues to perform with a youthful exuberance of someone many years younger. Henry is famously known as Howlin Wolf’s piano player for 14 years. He recorded and toured with some of the other blues greats like Muddy Waters, Lil Walter and Jimmy Reed. As an African American blues performer growing up in the South, Henry overcame obstacles that few are alive to talk about – all underscoring Henry’s tenacious spirit that has carried him along this remarkable, 92 year long journey.  The CD is available on iTunes and right here in our website store.

For those presenting zydeco music and culture, we also book some of the most skilled and professional zydeco artists at events around the world and consult on projects that positively support them.

MusicMatters wishes to thank our friend and attorney Gary McGoffin, of McGoffin Durio Law Firm, Lafayette, LA for his generosity in helping us create our 501c3 non profit corporation. We gained our tax exemption status under the umbrella of The National Folk Alliance, Memphis, TN.

MusicMatters, Inc. 132 Vivian Drive, Lafayette, LA 70508 337.837.9997 

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