Provided by the Town of Kiawah Island
Mark your calendar for the night of Wednesday, June 30. Starting at 6:30 p.m., Night Heron Park will host the nationally acclaimed zydeco group, J.J. Caillier and the Zydeco Knockouts, one of the genre’s foremost current artists.
Accordionist/singer J.J. Caillier hails from the heart of bayou country and is one of the world’s top proponents of modern zydeco, the adrenalin-charged dance music of the French-speaking Creole people of south Louisiana. He and his band, which is comprised of Caillier’s accordion and lead vocals, guitar, bass, drums, and a rubboard, travel the world preaching the gospel of zydeco and igniting dance floors. Caillier’s father was a legendary record producer and promoter who worked with “The King of Zydeco”, Clifton Chenier, the musician who revolutionized zydeco in the late 1950s. His ground breaking song “Les Haricots Sont Pas Sale” (“The Snap Beans Are Not Salty”), is a remake of an old “la la” or Creole folk song which had been sung and played by generations of Louisiana musicians. Chenier’s version put a heavy bass and drum beat to the song and almost overnight, la la music became “zydeco” (from the title of “Les Haricots” pronounced “lez-airy-co” ). Young J.J. Caillier, under his Dad’s tutelage, played on some of the last recordings of the great Clifton Chenier and the rest, as they say, is history.
J.J. Caillier and his hand-picked Zydeco Knockouts have released six hot CDs and recently appeared at Universal Studios in Florida, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, a tour of France, and other high-profile venues. J.J. Caillier, while home in Louisiana, stays busy playing all the local festivals, casinos, and zydeco events. He is considered one of the genre’s foremost current artists. J.J.’s June 30 performance at Night Heron Park marks his first visit to the South Carolina Lowcountry.
J.J. Caillier and the Zydeco Knockouts is presented by the Kiawah Island Arts Council is in conjunction with the Kiawah Island Sundown Festival. The festival will feature an Art Exhibit by the Kiawah Island Art Guild, family fun activities, jump castles, jousting, train rides and traditional southern lawn games throughout the evening. A picnic menu will be available at the Night Heron Grille for purchase. Bring your beach chairs and blankets!