The Kennedy Center

Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys



Biography

One of the most influential accordionists and vocalists in modern Zydeco music, Jeffery Broussard continues to be one of the genre’s most dynamic performers. He has continually been an innovator, beginning his career with traditional Creole Zydeco music playing drums in his father’s band, Delton Broussard & The Lawtell Playboys, then moving on to develop the nouveau Zydeco sound in Zydeco Force, now returning to the more traditional Zydeco sound with his own band, Jeffery Broussard and The Creole Cowboys. Jeffery Broussard was born in Lafayette, LA on March 10, 1967 to Ethel and Delton Broussard. He is the youngest of 11 children, having five brothers and five sisters, who all agree that Jeffery was the most spoiled! The family lived in Frilot Cove, LA, a rural community northwest of Opelousas, on a farm where his father was a sharecropper. Jeffery grew up fishing in the bayous, riding horses across the fields with his friends, and most of all working hard.

Jeffery’s music career started very early in life, similar to many other famous Zydeco musicians. At the age of eight, he started playing drums in his father’s band, the renowned Delton Broussard & The Lawtell Playboys. After seventh grade, Jeffery left school in order to farm full time to help his parents make ends meet. Jeffery spent long days digging and sorting potatoes. Whenever he could, Jeffery would sneak in to the house and get his daddy’s accordion down from the closet where it was stored and would teach himself how to play. Each time he would put the accordion up, he would set it on the shelf slightly different. His dad suspected that someone was playing his accordion, but never reprimanded Jeffery for it. At age 13, Jeffery’s father left sharecropping to work for an oil company. Two years later tragedy struck the family when Jeffery’s mother died of cancer.

During his teen years, Jeffery played drums in his oldest brother Clinton’s band, Clinton Broussard & The Zydeco Machines. Clinton plays the old Clifton Chenier triple note accordion. It was in this band that Jeffery played the accordion in public for the first time. His brother would let him play a few songs from time to time, but he was too shy to speak on stage, let alone sing. It wasn’t until he joined the band Zydeco Force that he began singing. It’s quite possible that without the struggle and hard times that Jeffery has experienced in life, he could not sing and play with the emotion, the soul, he expresses. He has range seldom seen in Zydeco from traditional songs from the old masters to originals, single note and triple note accordion to fiddle. Whether he is playing a festival stage in front of thousands of dancers, a small theater of seated patrons, giving an interview, teaching a lesson or playing at a trailride, his warmth, love of the music, and talent shine. Jeffery Broussard is the real deal. Dedicated to preserving and promoting the Creole culture and traditional Zydeco music, Jeffery plays with passion and commitment to carry on his daddy’s legacy.

Watch Past Performances

Video 1/10/2014: Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys

Featuring the accordion mastery and soulful vocals of front man Jeffery Broussard, the band delivers great, pack-the-floor renditions of Creole classics as well as their own brand of contemporary Zydeco. Dance lessons at 5 by Dancing by the Bayou.

Jeffery Broussard and The Creole Cowboys