Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Pop on the Rocks

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Pop on the Rocks

Article excerpt

A few years back, a musician friend had the distinct pleasure of playing in a band that opened for Zydeco legend Queen Ida. After a pre-show musical pep talk from the Queen herself, he said Ida left him with the best advice he'd ever gotten: "Strive to express, not to im press."

I ask the Queen about this previous pep talk during a recent phone call to her San Francisco home. Ida laughs and says, "That is definitely correct. You do not play for your audience to impress them. You play to express yourself."

At 67, Ida says it's one of the most important ideas instilled in her by her parents, and one that has guided her career. Often referred to as the "mother of Zydeco," Queen Ida has become one of the premier ambassadors of Western Louisiana's Creole/Cajun dance music. She headlines a series of shows for children and adults this week at the Center of Contemporary Arts, 524 Trinity Ave. Her performances for children are 7 p.m. Friday, 1:30 p.m. Saturday, and 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. Sunday. She also performs a show for adults at 8 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 725-6555. Queen Ida's one busy lady. The three-time Grammy nominee (she took a coveted statuette home in `83 for her release "On Tour") is touring behind her ninth release, "Mardi Gras." She's also celebrating the release of her newly revised cookbook "Cookin' with Queen Ida." Both the music and the cooking came early. Born in Lake Charles, La. into a family of seven children, Ida spent her early years pitching in ("You were never too young to have your chores. That stayed with me.") and helping her mother with cooking. Early on, she soaked in all the regional music flavors. When her family moved to Beaumont, Texas when Ida was nine, she also soaked in the area's big country and Western scene. Of course, there was always Zydeco in her life. "It was a social music for family and friends to get together," she says. Her eventual marriage to Raymond Guillory took her to San Francisco. …

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