Music for the soul

Grammy Award winning zydeco musician Terrance Simien says he’s coming to Kauai with the best live Mardi Gras music in the world.

“Straight from the source, brother. Straight from the source,” said the Louisiana native by phone from Portland, Oregon.

Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience perform Feb. 20 on Kauai as part of a four-date, four-island tour. The Kauai concert begins at 7 p.m. at Marriott Courtyard Kauai at Coconut Beach.

It’s been more than a decade since Simien performed in the islands. Still, he clearly remembers Kauai fans dancing in the aisle of the Performing Arts Center.

And he guarantees anyone who comes to the show with an ailment will leave feeling brand new.

“For people at home, you know, Mardi Gras, it’s like our time of the year where we just release and let it all out,” he said. “It’s almost like spring cleaning for the soul. You get out there, you get all the cobwebs out. I want to invite everybody to try this Mardi Gras thing with us, and consider it a cleansing for the spirit and the soul, and just come and have a good time and see what kind of medicine we bring.”

Terrance’s daughter, Memphis-based Marcella Simien, will join him onstage for a power-packed evening of their signature blend of New Orleans funk, world blues and American zydeco roots music.

He is legendary for his live performances, complex vocal harmonies and diverse repertoire, a release promoting the event boasts. The Zydeco Experience was featured in the blockbuster film “The Big Easy” and has shared the stage with Robert Palmer, Stevie Wonder, Los Lobos, Taj Mahal, Dr. John, the Meters, Alan Toussaint, Paul Simon and Dave Matthews Band.

Simien said sharing the stage with his daughter is always a special experience. As for his thoughts about returning to the Garden Isle, Simien said the honor is all his. 

“Looking forward to being in Kauai,” he said. “It’s only paradise, right?” 

Concert promoter Les Hershhorn of Lazar Bear Productions described Simien as the ambassador of Creole and Cajun music and said the audience can expect a hot, high-energy show, with lots of dancing, Mardi Gras beads and, of course, jambalaya. 

“It’s a very cool show and I think that people will really enjoy it,” Hershhorn said. 

Tickets cost $45 for general admission, $65 for gold circle tables. Doors open at 5 p.m., show is at 7 p.m.

For more information visit or call 822-3455.


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