July 2 at 9:50 PM on the Front Porch Stage
July 3 at 3:00 PM on Bayou Blues Cruise
Clayton Joseph Chenier is Creole music royalty. His father, the legendary Clifton Chenier, invented the style of music we know today as zydeco and was the first Creole musician to be recognized with a GRAMMY Award.
Raised in this indigenous American culture with its own distinctive language, cuisine and music, C.J. delivers soulful vocals along with masterful accordion-driven rock, zydeco and blues. After spending his childhood in the tough tenement housing projects of Port Arthur, Texas, C.J. joined his Father’s band on his 21st birthday. On the road his father showed him how to front a world-class touring band, teaching C.J. how to run the family business and how to develop his lifelong passion for music into a career. When Clifton died in 1987, C.J. adopted the Red Hot Louisiana Band.
C.J. has also played with John Mayall, The Gin Blossoms, Ray Parker, Jr., Joe Sample, Jimmie Vaughan, Sonny Landreth and Buckwheat Zydeco. He has appeared on The Jon Stewart Show and been featured on CNN. He has performed at numerous music festivals around the world and is a consistent crowd-pleaser for The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Attending a C.J. Chenier show is a transformative experience — a promise C.J. makes, “You can’t come to my show and stay unhappy. You’re going to break a smile before too long. This is happy music.”