Buckwheat Zydeco (1947-2016)
Note: Buckwheat Zydeco (Stanley Dural Jr.) died Sept. 24, 2016, at the age of 68 after a long battle with lung cancer.
According to news accounts, despite his illness, Buckwheat Zydeco continued to perform until a couple of months ago. His phenomenal career as a world renowned zydeco star began when he played organ with Clifton Chenier in the mid-1970s. He learned to play accordion from Clifton and went on the lead his own Ils Sont Partis Band. With charisma and an engaging showmanship, he brought zydeco to concert halls and festivals worldwide. He recorded and played with musicians like Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Mavis Staples, Paul Simon, and Willie Nelson and appeared on national TV shows. He performed at both inaugurations of President Bill Clinton and at the 1996 Summer Olympics closing ceremonies in Atlanta. In 2010, he received a Grammy Award for the best album in the Zydeco or Cajun category.
Despite his international fame, when I photographed him during his appearances close to home, he always seemed to me to deeply treasure his Louisiana Creole roots. He found a special joy playing before Louisiana crowds at festivals and at charity events like the Thanksgiving Zydeco Food Drive at El Sido's. The crowds responded with even more joy and with love for him and his music. He will be deeply missed.
Here is a link to an article published online the day of his death in the Baton Rouge Advocate: www.theadvocate.com/acadiana/article_731e5378-821a-11e6-8...
For a listing of Cajun and Zydeco bands and Mardi Gras photos included on these Flickr pages, go to www.cajunzydecophotos.com or www.cajunzydecophotos.com/mobile.