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Monday, February 16, 2009

Terrance Simien And The Zydeco Experience At The Pearson

To Broaden Horizons Through the Arts

PRESS RELEASE- For immediate release- pictures on request

What: Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience

When: Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Where: Pearson Lakes Art Center Lauridsen Performing Arts Theatre

Cost: Members - $18.00, Non-members - $22.00, Students - $11.00

TERRANCE SIMIEN & THE ZYDECO EXPERIENCE

The Pearson Lakes Art Center is proud to present the 2008 Grammy Award winner for BEST ZYDECO, Terrance Simien to the Lauridsen Performing Arts Theatre stage on Wednesday, March 11, 2009. The evening will begin at 6:00pm with a Mardi gras dinner provided by Remington’s Restaurant in the Pomerantz Hall. At 7pm we will host a Curtain Talk; a pre-show discussion about the history of the group and the show will begin at 7:30 in the Lauridsen Performing Arts Theatre.

Terrance Simien, born Sept. 3, 1965 grew up at the crossroads of State Highway 190 and Rural Route 103 in Mallet, Louisiana in St. Landry Parish, the heart of French speaking Creole country. He hails from one of the earliest families documented to have settled that rural area of SW Louisiana. At the crossroads where he grew up sits the building that anchors the small parish community, St. Ann's Roman Catholic Church. Inside that church Terrance learned to love the spiritual side of making music. Today he still lends that soulful voice and his deep spirituality to St. Ann's for a funeral of a family member or friend from that same prairie village.

It all began for the young Simien in the early 1980’s during a time when the indigenous music of the Creoles was really just considered the music of the ”old folks”, with only 2 young emerging bands performing the music of their zydeco forefathers.

The music was in great jeopardy of dying out at this pivotal point in its history. It was simply Terrance Simien and the Sam Brothers. Buckwheat had already been touring and recording. While Simien’s friends were all listening to the popular music of that time, (he was as well) but he was also busy searching out his musical roots in Zydeco music: a bold choice for any teenager.

He left home to tour the world. In the process he has become one of the most internationally recognized artists in the genre. Now a “Living Legend:” his conscious choice as a young artist to preserve his indigenous music makes him an important cultural asset and ambassador for the state of Louisiana. Simien has gone on to share studio stage with Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Robert Palmer, Los Lobos and Dave Matthews Band to name a few.

He has conquered film and records with the same intensity he brings to the stage. He dots the soundtrack and appears in the film "The Big Easy". Paul Simon discovered the young Simien when he came to Louisiana to research music for his “Graceland” CD. They recorded a Chenier standard with Simon harmonizing on "You Used to Call Me". It was released on a 45 in 1987 and re-released on Simien’s "Across The Parish Line” CD.

He continues to expand his creative vision and increase the awareness of his native Creole culture with a collection of mostly original songs for family listening, “Creole for Kidz and the History of Zydeco.” The CD (w/5 pg. study guide is now housed in about 200 libraries around the country. Since its debut in 2001 this arts-in-education “informance” (informational performance), has reached over 200,000 K-12 students and teachers at schools and art centers in 20 states, Canada, Australia, Paraguay and Mali, West Africa. Audiences are treated to a dynamic multicultural music experience where Simien offers a bit of history recalling the early days of Zydeco music and its pioneers. The students are navigated by with stories taking the, into the rural community where the Creoles settled 300 years ago as some of the first families of Louisiana. They learn the origins of the word zydeco, the meaning of Mardi gras and that Gumbo is Creole from the African word for okra. The audiences gain appreciation for the simplicity of life and the colorful celebrations of the Creoles who are said to be one of the most complex rural sub-cultures in North America.

In the spring of 2001 Simien was invited to tour with the Dave Matthews Band on multiple arena/shed dates. Dave introduced the band each night urging his audience to “take notice” of his friends from Louisiana and then later joined Terrance for a duet. This was yet another nod to Simien’s level of artistry.

His latest release (06) “Across The Parish Line” once again gained accolades from music critics. Billboard, No Depression, Amazon and Blues Review all giving it high marks for outstanding vocals and diversity. Amazon declared that “This CD cements Simien's standing as the most creative, diverse musician in modern Zydeco.” Offbeat Magazine calls it a “crowning achievement.” and voted it one of the 50 Best CD’s in 2006 and The Edmonton Sun says “Simien’s biggest asset is his phenomenal set of pipes.”

He furthers his mission with the formation of his non-profit MusicMatters, artist advocacy and education organization for the advancement of music artists in his community. His work emphasizes the responsibility of all to address and invest in infrastructure building, professional development and advocate for artists rights for increased economic benefits to Louisiana’s indigenous music artists who are valuable cultural assets.

Join the PLAC and Terrance Simien on March 11th for a thrilling evening of Creole and New Orleans music. Call 712-332-7029 or go to www.lakesart.org for tickets and information. Tickets are $18- for members, $22- for non-members, $11 – for students. Dinner is $14.95 and reservations are required prior to the event.

Supported by: the Bud Pearson Fund for Arts Education and the Dickinson County Endowment Fund.

Thanks to our Gold Corporate Partners: Bank Midwest; Signe Kim Lauridsen-Jones; Pure Fishing; Liberty Bank; & Wells Blue Bunny and Silver Corporate Partners: United Community Bank; Central Bank; Spirit Lake Hy-Vee; Midwest Coca-Cola; Northwest Federal Savings Bank; The Inn at Okoboji; the Bud Pearson Fund for Art Education; Tom Fuhrman’s Edward Jones Investments; Kum & Go; & Piccadilly Circus Pizza/LandMark Products

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