JT & the

Zydeco Zippers

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference in Cajun and Zydeco music?

It is difficult to explain the difference in Cajun and Zydeco music, even for some people I have spoken to in Louisiana. Here are the basics.

Cajun music features the button Cajun accordion and triangle, which are traditional Cajun musical instruments. Cajun often has ‘love lost’ lyrics, sung in Cajun French, with uplifting melodies. Two Step, Waltz, and Cajun Swing dance rhythms are typical.

Zydeco is largely upbeat two-step rhythms, born at about the same time as Cajun music but more from the Creole culture. It presently incorporates R&B, Jazz, Blues and Urban Soul. Some of its distinctive Afro-Caribbean sound comes from a percussion instrument known as the frottoir (rubboard or washboard), played with metal scrapers. The word ‘Zydeco’ is the phonetic rendering of the first two words of the French phrase "les haricots sont pas sales," which means "the snap beans aren’t salted," (we are too poor to buy saltpork to season the beans), but there is no misery in this music. It accommodates every dance style and has the "best dancers and liveliest music in America", says Time magazine.

People who hear our band play, often ask what part of Louisiana we are from. They have a hard time understanding that our band members are Californians who have adopted this infectious dance music and passionately enjoy spreading "the fever". We have witnessed a narrowing of the generation gap at most events with both young and old participating.

Who Hires Us?

Festivals: Long Beach Cajun Festival, San Luis Obispo MardiGras Parade and Festival, Santa Barbara Fiesta, Carpinteria Avocado Festival, Santa Barbara Solstice Parade and Festival, Numerous Wine Festivals throughout California.
Clubs: Central and Southern California, LasVegas, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico.
Weddings and Parties: Movie studio parties, business conventions and openings, and special occasion events.
Schools and Universities: Dances and Ethno-musicology performances featuring the music and history of Cajun/Zydeco music.

CD or ‘T’ shirt $16 includes tax and shipping.
Song sample cassettes and promo package available on request.

Book the full dance band or request a smaller configuration for a more intimate affair.
Weddings, Parties, Clubs, Festivals, Restaurants, Dance Halls, Schools, Concerts, Conventions, Etc.

Email the Zydeco Zippers at

J.T. Whitney Phone (805)452 4163
or Ralph (805) 969-2901
401 Lambert Rd. Carpinteria, CA 93013

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