Jean-Pierre and The Zydeco Angels
Austin, TX, USA
I got started around 1985 in Houston, Texas. Clifton Chenier used to play in French Town back then, French Town was a pocket of French Creoles established in Houston. I learned to play the music very quickly, absorbing all I could by watching and really digging the music.
I became good enough to actually start playing music in the white part of town which at the time most white folks in Houston did not know what Zydeco was. It became very popular and successful among the white folks to the point where I was playing 6 to 7 nights a week and holding a full time job, it was fun but stressful at times. Several years later I made a move to Lafayette, Louisiana and started all over. By that time Zydeco music was starting to change and had lost its traditional formula.
The Clifton Chenier style of Zydeco was no longer being played much at all, a new style emerged and became very popular among the younger generation. Proving myself, hard work paid off and I became well established around Lafayette, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles and New Orleans.
In the year 2000 I made a move to Austin, Texas with my family. I took a break from music for almost 3 years and then I started missing it so I began playing again. Many times people ask me to play Zydeco when I am playing Clifton Chenier, Rocking Dupsey, John Delafonse style and I'm thinking, I wish they would have been there and heard the old style of Zydeco, in my opinion that was the real Zydeco. Its like making a gumbo without the roux, Laissez les bon temps roulez, cher !