CJ Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band
The Red Hot Louisiana Band was formed in 1978 by Clifton Chenier. An accordionist who pioneered the Zydeco genre (a subgenre of Cajun music with heavy jazz, blues, and R&B influences), Clifton Chenier was frequently billed as “king of the South.” He was the first Creole musician to receive a Grammy award, and has also been honored as a National Heritage Fellow and a Blues Hall of Fame inductee. With Chenier at its head, the Red Hot Louisiana Band featured some of the hottest talents in Cajun music, including an energetic horns section and a washboard player. After Clifton Chenier died in 1989, he passed his prized accordion, and the leadership of his band onto his son, CJ Chenier. Three decades later, CJ Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band are still delivering Zydeco music that’s more infectious and danceable than ever. In that time, they’ve released thirteen albums, appeared on the Jon Stewart Show and CNN, and continuously pushed contemporary Creole into the spotlight. Rather than merely coast off his father’s legacy, CJ Chenier continues to push the band in new directions, including explorations of rock, funk, and ska, among other genres, which CJ and the rest of the ensemble expertly blends into their classic Zydeco. This February, we’re delighted to host them here at Caffe Lena, as part of Saratoga’s Flurry Dance Festival.