C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band Come to St. Paul's Ordway Tonight

C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band Come to St. Paul's Ordway Tonight

The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts officially announces C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band will perform in place of Buckwheat Zydeco as part of the Ordway's 2012-2013 Target World Music and Dance Series. Buckwheat Zydeco was unable to continue his tour due to illness (see additional news release). The performance will take place at the same time and date, tonight, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m. in the Ordway's Music Theater.

With a solo career dating back to 1987 and eight albums under his belt, C.J. Chenier is widely regarded as one of the best Zydeco singers, musicians and performers. Son of the "King of Zydeco" Clifton Chenier, C.J. Chenier has spread word of Zydeco music to the world, all the while pushing the genre to new heights with his virtuosity.

C.J. Chenier began his early career by playing Top 40 music, but soon decided to follow in his father's footsteps when he picked up the accordion at the age of 21. After his father's death, C.J. Chenier took over the Red Hot Louisiana Band, continued his father's legacy, and became well-known for his own unique music and performing skills.

Although traditional Zydeco remains The Core of the band's music, C.J. Chenier has continuously pushed those boundaries, adding in new elements of modern funk with healthy does of blues, R&B, swamp pop and even country. C.J. Chenier's mastery of the accordion, combined with his rich and satisfying voice, is the driving force behind this powerhouse Zydeco band.

The band's most recent album, "Can't Sit Down," was nominated for a 2011 Grammy Award in the Best Regional Roots Music category. Focusing on freshness, energy and capturing the "live" moment, the album was recorded in one session at Rock Romano's recording studio in Houston, Texas.

The Red Hot Louisiana Band members include C.J. Chenier (vocals, accordion, flute, piano, organ); Glenn Griffin (bass); Michael Morris (drums); Clifford Alexander (frottior/rub board); Tim Betts (guitar); and David Macejka (percussion).

Called "the crown prince of zydeco" by The Boston Globe and "the best living Zydeco singer and accordionist" by Living Blues Magazine, C.J. Chenier is a crowd pleaser and an authentic Zydeco master.

An Ordway Extra will take place before the performance beginning at 6:30 p.m., focusing on the history of Zydeco music. There will also be a post-show party with Ordway staff and band representatives in the Marzitelli Foyer. Drinks will be available for purchase.

Zydeco is the music of southwest Louisiana's Black Creoles, a group of people of mixed African, Afro-Caribbean, Native American and European descent. It is a relatively new genre of music, branching out as a unique style of its own in the mid 1900's.

Zydeco bands usually include an accordion, a modified washboard called frottior, the electric guitar, bass and drums. Secondary instruments include the fiddle, keyboards and horns. The music style itself sounds much like the blues. The upbeat, fast-moving Zydeco music is made for dancing.

Clifton Chenier is widely credited as being the original pioneer and "king of zydeco." He was the first Creole musician to win a Grammy Award for his album "I'm Here" in 1983. Chenier was famous for his flashy onstage gear of a cape and crown, but it was his exuberant and highly danceable Zydeco music that made him a legend. For more information about Zydeco music, click HERE.

The Ordway is widely recognized as one of the nation's leading nonprofit performing arts centers and Saint Paul's most elegant and inviting performance space. The Ordway's Music Theater and McKnight stages attract diverse audiences with an array of productions showcasing the finest in American musical theater, world music, dance, and vocal performance. Education and community engagement are integral to the Ordway's mission, with major initiatives including the annual Flint Hills International Children's Festival and Ordway Education programs that serve more than 50,000 students annually. The Ordway also serves as authorizer for the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, a professionally guided academic and artistic environment that trains aspiring pre-professional performing artists. Together with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Opera and The Schubert Club, the Ordway is a member of the Arts Partnership and serves as the principal venue for their performances.

Performance and Ticket Information:
C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band
Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets starting at $26 (including fees)
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
345 Washington Street Saint Paul, MN 55102
Ordway's Music Theater
Ticket Office: 651.224.4222
Groups: 651.282.3111

Photo Credit: George Balthazar