Cover image for Zydeco!
Sandmel, Ben.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jackson : University Press of Mississippi, [1999]

Physical Description:
189 pages : illustrations, 1 map ; 26 cm
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Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML3560.C25 S26 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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In eighty stunning portraits of the genre's leading people and places and through extensive interviews and historical commentary, photographer Rick Olivier and journalist/musician Ben Sandmel have created a book as spirited as the rollicking music it so vividly illuminates.

Once an obscure regional tradition, zydeco now enjoys worldwide popularity. In this book two respected veteran observers draw on more than thirty years of combined professional experience to explore zydeco's rural roots and trace its emergence on the global stage. Through Olivier's innovative use of righting and Sandmel's skill as an interviewer, zydeco icons such as Clifton Chenier, Boozoo Chavis, and Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural guide readers through their music, its complex cultural context, and the unbounded joy they find in performing.

Zydeco! is the first published collection of fine photographs, lively text, and oral history devoted exclusively to black CreoLe dance music.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Zydeco is an extremely danceable music that developed among the Creole population of southwestern Louisiana and eastern Texas. It combines elements of Afro-Caribbean rhythms, blues, and Cajun music, is often sung in French, and may feature use of the accordion or the frottoir, a modified washboard. Zydeco had nearly died out when it was revived by its appearance on the soundtrack of the film The Big Easy and Paul Simon's album Graceland. This volume joins Michael Tisserand's The Kingdom of Zydeco (LJ 10/1/98) as one of the first book-length explorations of this American musical form. Sandmel, zydeco programming consultant for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, traces the history of the music and draws upon interviews with some of the seminal zydeco performers, such as Clifton Chenier and Boozoo Chavis, popularizers like Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural, and practitioners of "zydeco nouveau," which incorporates the influence of rap and hip-hop. While not as in-depth as Tisserand's book, this work is a solid and handsomely illustrated introduction to zydeco. Recommended for public and academic libraries.ÄMichael Colby, Univ. of California, Davis (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.