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Creole musicians coming to Holmes Theatre for two shows

Terrance Simien is bringing his band to the Holmes Theatre on Feb. 21, excited to introduce Creole to Detroit Lakes. Submitted Photo

Are you ready to immerse yourselves in the music and culture of New Orleans' Bourbon Street?

Terrance Simien and his band of five talented Creole musicians, the Zydeco Experience, will be making the journey north to Detroit Lakes for not just one, but two concerts on Thursday, Feb. 21, in the Historic Holmes Theatre.

At 10 a.m., Simien will present a "Creole for Kids" concert that incorporates information about Creole history and culture as well as its music.

Kids from school districts throughout the county are invited to come to the Holmes Theatre and enjoy this unique concert, free of charge, through funding from Arvig, which sponsors the Discovery Children's Series at the theater, and from WE Fest.

"It's totally different from the regular shows we do," Simien said. "We try to educate the kids on the history of Zydeco music, and a little about the Creole culture in general.

"Zydeco is the music of the Creole people of southern Louisiana," he added. "They have been in southern Louisiana for over 300 years, and their music has evolved a lot during those years."

"We've been doing this show now for about 12 years, and we've reached over a million kids during those 12 years."

But Simien plans on doing a concert for the general public as well.

That evening at 7:30, he and his band will perform an eclectic mix of music from original compositions to traditional Zydeco, with rock, funk, jazz, reggae and Cajun influences.

"We also take a few cover songs and put our own little twists on them," Simien said. "We perform traditional stuff and contemporary stuff and original stuff that only we do.

"To describe zydeco in one way would be leaving out so much... You'll just have to come and see it and judge for yourselves. The main thing for us is to make people enjoy themselves, have a good time -- forget your troubles for a while and just be happy.

"We encourage everyone to dance and enjoy the music, however you feel it. Just lose yourself in the groove of the zydeco."

Simien and his band have been performing together for 32 years now. An 8th generation Louisiana Creole, Simien said music has been a part of his life since he was a young child.

"I've been a musician since I was a youngster," he said. "I started off in church. I grew up in the Catholic church and sang in church choirs. Then I learned to play the trumpet at 10 years old and played in the school band through elementary and high school.

"I picked up the accordion at age 14, started my band at age 16, and the rest is history."

Though they've played all over the country, as well as many international locations, Simien said Thursday's concerts will mark their first visit to Detroit Lakes.

"I don't think you've ever had a Zydeco concert there before," he said. "I always look forward to being the first ones (to introduce Zydeco music to an audience). 'To boldly go where Zydeco has never been before,' that's our motto."

Tickets for the Thursday evening show are $20 for adults and $10 for students, and can be purchased online at, by calling 218-844-7469, or by visiting the Holmes Box Office at 806 Summit Ave. in Detroit Lakes.

The evening show is underwritten by Central Market of Detroit Lakes, with partial funding also provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board through the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money provided via the Legacy Amendment vote of the people of Minnesota in 2008.

The band's outreach activities in the community will be funded, in part, by the Lake Region Arts Council.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454