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Two Time Grammy Winner Visits Norfolk

Grammy in hand – Terrance Simien and his band, The Zydeco Experience, took the stage at the Johnny Carson Theatre and the Norfolk Junior High, last Monday. He came to Norfolk to perform traditional Creole music for students, which is primarily what he and his band do now – travel the country introducing children to music that they might have not experienced otherwise and they call it Creole for Kidz.
Terrance and the band performed twice while they were here and both times to packed theatres. The students got very into the music, dancing and cheering along with the band. Terrance even brought Mardi Gras beads to give out to the kids. Terrance and his band not only introduced the students to Creole music, but he taught them some french also – phrases like “hey there.”
The band was able to experience Norfolk for a few days – coming into town a few days early for set-up. They visited our local Target, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Black Cow Fat Pig. The day after the performances they hit the road South to Houston, Texas for yet another show.
A little background on Terrance and his band:
Terrance Simien is from one of the oldest Creole families in Louisiana and has been playing Zydeco music his whole life. He started playing the trumpet when he was in grade school. When he was 19 he recorded a song with Paul Simon that jump-started his career. He and his band won their first Grammy in 2007 in a category that Terrance and his wife helped pioneer. His wife, Cynthia, is the band’s manager and agent. Even his daughter is a musician currently touring in Switzerland!
Danny Williams, the piano player, also has Creole blood. He was a member of the band when they won BOTH of their Grammy awards.
Lance Ellis, the saxophone player, has played with famous musicians all over the country.
Ian Molinaro Thompson, the drummer, just graduated from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music and moved to New Orleans. His drum mentor is great friends with Terrance and got him an audition for the band.
The band worked with Randy Neuman to write “Down on the Bayou” for the Disney + Pixar movie, Princess and the Frog. The students immediately recognized this song when the band began performing it!
This performance was brought to Norfolk by the Norfolk Arts Center through a partnership with the Leid Center for Performing Arts in Lincoln. The Lied Center’s Arts Across Nebraska programs helps non-profit organizations host a wide variety of performances and opportunities for their communities.