C.J. Chenier grew up steeped in the indigenous Louisiana Creole culture and zydeco music. His father, Clifton Chenier, was a pioneering accordionist known as “The King of Zydeco” and was the first Creole musician to win a GRAMMY. C.J. started touring with his father’s legendary Red Hot Louisiana Band when he was just 21. On the road, his father showed him how to make a career out of fronting a world-class touring band.
When Clifton died in 1987, his son said it only felt natural to carry on his father’s legacy. As he told a journalist at the time, he does not try to imitate his father's playing, "I play it the way I play it. All my father really told me was to do the best I could do with my own style."
Over the course of his long and successful career, C.J. has established himself as a master zydeco and blues accordionist in his own right, performing with Paul Simon, Joe Sample, Ray Parker Jr., and more.
This event is presented in conjunction with the Accordions: Expanding Voices in the USA special exhibition and is funded in part by the City of Carlsbad Cultural Arts Office.
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