zydeco (zĪˈdĭkōˌ) [key], American musical form originating among the African-American Creoles of Louisiana. Drawing on elements of traditional Cajun music as well as jazz, country and western, and blues, it is characterized by French lyrics, Creole flavor, and strong dance rhythms. The most important and traditional instrument used in performing zydeco is the piano accordion. Other instruments often included in a zydeco band are the guitar, electric bass, saxophone, drums, and "rubboard" (washboard). Among the genre's better known performers are Clifton Chenier (1925–87), zydeco's best-known musician; Wilson Anthony "Boozoo" Chavis; Rockin' Sidney; Buckwheat Zydeco; and Queen Ida Lewis.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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