Sean Ardoin + Zydekool
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Sean Ardoin + Zydekool

Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1999 | SELF

Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 1999
Band Folk Zydeco


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Ardoin making fans smile with 'Zydeco Happy'"

Sean Ardoin is one "Happy" musician. Ardoin has a zydeco cover of the Pharrell Williams megahit, a No. 1 song in 24 countries, which also includes snippets of Janelle's Monae's "Tightrope."

A new video of Ardoin's "Zydeco Happy" features iconic people and places in his hometown of Lake Charles. It received 20,000 views on YouTube in the first 48 hours of its release in late May. As of early this week, the video was at 34,000 views and climbing.

Pop and country radio personalities in Lake Charles and Lafayette, including Bobby Novosad at KSMB 94.5 FM, have added "Zydeco Happy" to their playlists.

Gigs are coming up in New Orleans, where Offbeat Magazine featured Ardoin in its most recent edition. Radio station WQUE Q93 is featuring a "Zydeco Happy Line Dance" video on its web site.

Ardoin had two TV interviews in Beaumont last week and Houston is in the works. Ardoin even saw his video in church on Sunday morning.

"My pastor showed it in church and preached the whole message around being happy and walking a tightrope," said Ardoin. "It was wild.

"Across the board, people are saying' I love the song. I love the video. It makes me happy. I can't stop watching the video because it makes me happy.' It's so cliché, but it makes them happy.

"Everybody's sharing it, loving it. There's a whole lot of happiness going on."

Ardoin shares "Zydeco Happy" with anyone who texts GETKOOL to 88704. The free download has only added more momentum to his growing stardom.

But new fans should know Ardoin is no newcomer. His family name is one of the most historic in all of Louisiana music.

Sean is the grandson of Creole accordion legend Alphonse "Bois Sec" Ardoin, whose cousin Amédé recorded French songs in the 1920s and '30s that planted the seeds for zydeco and Cajun music. The Ardoin Brothers, which included Sean's dad and uncles, carried the musical torch in the 1960s and '70s.

In the 1990s, Sean and his brother Chris added modern R&B grooves to zydeco with their popular band, Double Clutchin'. Ardoin fueled the fire even more with his Zydekool band.

A renewal of his Christian faith kept Sean from music for eight years. But he returned in 2009 with "How Great is Your Love," a CD of Christian zydeco.

Claiming music as a gift from God that he must pursue, Ardoin is happy to be on the scene again. But he believes his greatest blessing is yet to come.

"I still believe I'm going to record with Pharrell," said Ardoin. "I know that I know somebody that knows him. If I don't know somebody that knows him, he knows somebody that knows me. Or he knows somebody that's going to get this across their desk or phone, show him and say, 'Did you see this?'

"He would be the perfect guy to do a single for me and get out there. He would want to bring what I do, which is our Louisiana flavor, to the world. If I do it, I'm bringing the food, the dance, the style, the attitude. I'm bringing all of that with it. I'm going to fight for the culture."

Herman Fuselier is food and culture editor for the Times of Acadiana and Daily Advertiser. Contact him at - The Daily Advertiser - June 11, 2014

"Back Talk: Sean Ardoin on Why Zydeco Makes Him “Happy”"

Will the real Sean Ardoin please stand up? Ardoin carries the most historic name in zydeco, yet he’s a chameleon of relentless reinvention that’s starting to bear big fruit.

Sean is the grandson of Creole accordion legend Alphonse “Bois Sec” Ardoin, whose cousin Amede’ recorded songs in the 1920s and ’30s that many consider to be the seeds of zydeco and Cajun music. In the 1990s, Sean, his brother Chris and their Double Clutchin’ Band added modern-R&B flavors to zydeco that had young Creoles dancing and imitating in the studio.

Sean cranked up the contemporary even more with his band Zydekool before a spiritual renewal drove him from music for eight years. By 2009, Sean was back on with Christian zydeco, a groove that left some fans wondering if they should two-step or run to confession.

No one’s running away from his latest brainchild, Creole United, a gathering that includes his father Lawrence, Jeffery Broussard, Andre Thierry and other zydeco veterans and newcomers performing fresh tunes, in French and English, in a Creole genre often stuck on nostalgia. Sean was inspired to put a zydeco spin on “Happy,” the Pharrell Williams feel-good song of the millennium.

Radio stations that usually shy away are putting zydeco “Happy” in rotation. Lake Charles, Sean’s southwest Louisiana hometown of 73,000, has adopted the tune for a promotional video.

New Orleans can get happy with the past, present and future Sean Ardoin during the Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival on June 14-15, in Armstrong Park and at d.b.a. on July 4.

You’re part of this historic family in zydeco and Creole music. But at the same time you’ve always welcomed change.

I think it was Zig Ziglar who said, “When you’re green, you’re growing. When you’re ripe, you rot.” It took me a while to understand and embrace that zydeco music must change in order for it to live and thrive. Anything that stays the same eventually goes away. Change is inevitable and change is good.

Once I embraced the fact that change is good, it reduced my stress level of wanting to be a zydeco purist. As a black Creole who grew up listening to Creole music and playing Creole music in a Creole family, it’s what God has given them to express it. If they call that Creole music or zydeco, I got to rock with that. They’re authorized to do that.

We can’t keep following the same template and making the music stagnant for so many years. Fresh and different angles are good things.

Change can mean so many things. What does it mean to Sean Ardoin?

Change number one is I’m back and back with a vengeance. I’m back with a determination to preserve the culture, while at the same time pushing it forward. With the Creole United project, it caused me to really assess about how I feel about my roots. My passion for the music has been revived. I have a really strong desire to see that the music stays active, relevant and we also preserve the culture at the same time. I really think we can do that. We have some very talented individuals.

You used the words, “I’m back.” Where have you been?

I stopped playing music for about eight years. I was basically getting stronger in my faith and getting to the point where I could be a light out in the world, and realizing you can be a Christian and play music. Some people don’t understand that. It’s my job. It’s who I am. I give all the glory to God when I do it. It makes people feel good. It makes their lives better.

It’s just like a knife. A knife is a tool. If you use a knife in a bad way, then it’s dangerous. It’s a bad thing. But a knife can be used to cut meat, give you something to eat. It can cut you out of a bind if you get tangled. Music is just a tool.

I chose to use it to bless people’s lives. People tell me, “Your music just makes me feel so good. If I was down, I’d put your music in and it picked me back up.” That is just amazing. How can you not do that?

Without a doubt, in your mind, music is your calling from God.

This is—straight up—my calling and my gift from God, to do music on a high level and bring joy to people’s lives.

Is this what gave birth to Christian zydeco for you?

That is definitely what did it. I had to get the music out of me. This was also a need for some people. Every time I would go to a church, there was somebody saying, “I’ve been praying for this. I’ve been trying to figure out how to do this the right way. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for.”

Now you’re covering “Happy” and a lot of people are talking about it. How did that come about?

I was actually sitting in my car and I heard it on the radio. I heard the deejay say, “Pharell has been pushing this song. I like it. It makes me happy and I hope it makes you happy.” A lot of people say they hear a higher power or an inner voice. I like to call it the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit said, “If you record this song, people will hear you.” So I recorded the song and brother, people have been hearing me.

I’ve been getting calls from everywhere. I’ve been giving the song away, but people want to buy it. People are loving it. It’s just really cool.

You’re giving away downloads of this song and you’ve always embraced technology. Why do you do that?

I embrace technology because if it’s there for you to use and if the industry is using it, then why not? Not using technology today is the equivalent of growing up in the ’60s and not using amplified instruments. That’s how important is it right now. If you’re not using technology, then you’re pretty much in the dark ages. People can’t find you. You can’t find them. They can’t follow you. They don’t know where you are or what you’re doing.

When you’re playing, you always end the show telling the crowd to text you for a free download.

I tell them to text GETKOOL to 88704. That connects people to me. They can get the “Happy” song from me, a free download. They can play it any time they want.

But it puts you in connection with me. Studies have shown that about 90 percent of emails are deleted and not even opened. But 90 percent of text messages are read. So you go from sending them something you hope they might click on and open to something you know they’re going to read.

I don’t inundate them with texts. I only let them know when something is going on. I keep in touch with them. In this day and age, your fans want to know what you’re doing and who you are. We have more access than we’ve ever had. We, as artists and musicians, should be comfortable with that so we can survive and thrive in this new technology era.

Speaking of surviving and thriving, what’s the future of zydeco? Can it thrive and survive?

With the city of Lake Charles doing a video and the buzz around the song, Pharell is going to see the video. He’s going to like it so much and ask me to perform it with him—and he’s going to produce me as an artist.

I’m actually playing alternative Creole music. If I say zydeco, we [Ardoins] don’t actually come from zydeco. We come from Creole music. We play the diatonic accordion. We come from French music. Alternative Creole opens the music up to bring it wherever we go. We did such a great job of promoting zydeco, people now have a preconceived notion of what it is. If you don’t come at them with something from 1985, they don’t think you’re playing zydeco.

Labeling and branding is everything. People’s perception is their reality. So if they perceive me as a 1985 band and I come out doing 2015 stuff, there’s confusion. But if I say alternative Creole, they’ll say, “What is that?” And I’ll say, “That’s this.”

I see Pharell producing a single for me and, in effect, bringing Creole music and the culture to the world. I know the culture, so I’ll bring that along with me. You can’t go without the culture. The culture is what makes the music so hot.

Some people will read this and say you’re crazy. But look at what’s happened already.

I’m already out on the edge. When I did “Happy,” I was already out on the edge. I don’t have a problem being out in the deep water. The people who are really successful in life, they all say the same thing. Keep doing what you do and being the best person you can be. If it’s good, everybody will catch up to you.

I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I’ve never wanted to do what’s already been done. I’ve always been the guy doing R&B, rock, reggae and mixing it to zydeco. They thought I was out there but, today, that’s what everybody is doing. So, it’s a perfect time for me to come back. Timing is everything. I’m excited for the future of zydeco and Creole music. - Offbeat Magazine - June 1, 2014

"Sean Ardoin is Zydeco Happy in Lake Charles"

Sean Ardoin and ZydeKool have released a zydeco version of Pharrell's hit song "Happy." Shot in Ardoin's hometown of Lake Charles, KPLC 7 News anchor Cynthia Arceneaux and Mayor Randy Roach each make an appearance in the video. - KPLC-TV - May 28, 2014

"Zydeco Happy Line ("Happy" Dance, Zydeco Style)"

New Basic, 2 Wall line dance created by me, Cheryl Williams, The Line Dance Queen. This is fun, energy packed and you wont be able to sit down while this one plays, believe me! See me and the Royal Court Line Dance Team dance to Sean Ardoin's "Zydeco Happy." - Cheryl Williams, The Zydeco Line Dance Queen


Studio Albums

  • Return of the Kool (Zydekool Records, 2013)
  • How Great Is Your Love (Zydekool Records, 2009)
  • Final Chapter: New Beginning  (Zydekool Records , 2006)
  • Strictly for the Dancers (Zydekool Records, 2004)
  • Home Brew (Tomorrow Recordings, 2003)
  • Pullin’ (Tomorrow Recordings, 2001)
  • Sean Ardoin –n- Zydekool (Zydekool Records, 1999)

Collaborative Albums

  • Creole United: Non Jamais Fait (Creole United, 2013)
  • Turn the Page Chris Ardoin & Double Clutchin (Rounder, 1998)
  • Gon’ Be Jus’ Fine Chris Ardoin & Double Clutchin (Rounder, 1997)
  • Lick it Up! Chris Ardoin & Double Clutchin (Masion de Soul, 1995)
  • That’s Da Lick Chris Ardoin & Double Clutchin (Maison de Soul, 1994)
  • Lawrence “Black” Ardoin & Lagniappe (Maison de Soul, 1991)

Artists Produced & Recorded for Zydekool Records

  • “LSU” (Single) by Sean Ardoin and Blue da Kid
  • Lil Jeremy and the Hot Boys
  • Big Ike “Teddy Bear” with Mardi Gras Records
  • Messenger Qodesh “The Message”
  • Weasel and the Zydeco Clan (Self Titled)
  • “The Story” (Single) by Sean Ardoin II 



Sean Ardoin is a musical innovator who carries on one of the most revered legacies in all of Louisiana music. Few can match his credentials.

Sean is the grandson of Creole accordion legend Alphonse "Bois Sec" Ardoin, whose cousin Amédé recorded French songs in the 1920s and '30s that planted the seeds for zydeco and Cajun music. The Ardoin Brothers, which included Sean's dad and uncles, carried the musical torch in the 1960s and '70s.

Following in their father's footsteps, Sean and his brother, Chris Ardoin and Double Clutchin', were a top zydeco draw throughout the '90s. Ardoin fueled the fire even more with Zydekool, a band that had the zydeco world dancing to “Two Fingers in the Air” and the swing out jam, “Love, All For You.”

For almost 90 years, an Ardoin has recorded or performed Creole music or zydeco. Sean Ardoin has not only watered those deep zydeco roots. He continues to build upon his cultural legacy with an infusion of funk, jazz, rock, pop, R&B, rap and reggae flavors that are introducing the world to zydeco in the 21st century.

A renewal of his Christian faith led Sean to release "How Great is Your Love" in 2009, a CD of Christian zydeco with a new group R.O.G.K. or Reflections of God’s Kingdom.

Recognizing zydeco as his God-given gift and talent that had to be cultivated, Sean roared back in 2013 with “Return of the Kool.” The CD firmly established that Sean and his band Zydekool had only strengthened their innovative grooves.

In 2014, Sean combined “Happy,” the Pharrell Williams megahit, with snippets of Janelle Monae’s “Tightrope,” for a zydeco hit that earned airplay and media attention from New Orleans to Houston and beyond. A “Zydeco Happy” video, which showcases celebrities and landmarks in Sean’s hometown of Lake Charles, Louisiana, captured more than 53,000 combined views and shares on YouTube.

Sean is also the one of the driving forces behind Creole United, an all-star band that includes his father Lawrence “Black” Ardoin, cousin Andre Thierry and some of zydeco’s top veterans and newcomers. The group performs bilingual songs in Creole and English for a new generation of fans.

With an overall sound he calls Modern Creole, Sean remains committed to sharing his gifts of music and culture across the globe.

Notable Performances & Career Highlights:

  • At the age of 20, Sean and the Ardoin Family Band played Carnegie Hall as part of the prestigious venue’s 100th anniversary. 
  • Played the Fourth of July celebration at the National Mall in Washington, DC before a live audience of 500,000 and the event was simulcast on PBS and NPR to an audience of 10 million people. 
  • In 1999, Sean became the first zydeco artist to start his own record label.
  • Zydekool’s “Pullin’” CD was one of’s Top 100 CDs of 2001.
  • Performed live on BET’s top-rated show, “ComicView,” during its run in New Orleans. Audience responded with three standing ovations.
  • Music featured on MTV’s “Real World,” “Road Rules,” “Fraternity Life” and “Sorority Life.”
  • Toured throughout the United States, Mexico, United Kingdom, Sweden, Holland, Italy, Japan, Australia and Brazil.
  • Played the National Folklife Festival, Village Underground in New York, Kilamagaro in DC and numerous appearances at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
  • Shared stages and venues with noted musicians such as Israel Houghton, Aaron Lindsey, Johnny Swim, Buckwheat Zydeco, Clifton Chenier, Rockin’ Dopsie, Beau Jocque, Zachary Richard, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, Steve Riley, Trombone Shorty, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Marcia Ball, Irma Thomas and Ike Turner.
  • Taught zydeco dance and rubboard, zydeco’s unique percussion instrument, in cultural camps and venues throughout the country
  • Photographed and profiled in numerous books, including “Annie Leibovitz American Music,” Michael Tisserand’s “Kingdom of Zydeco” and “Louisiana Music” by Rick Koster.
  • Creator of the “Zydeco Happy” video, which has served as a promotional video for his hometown of Lake Charles, La., has amassed 53,000-plus views and shares on YouTube.
  • Brainchild behind Creole United, an all-star group that includes his father Lawrence, Jeffery Broussard, Andre Thierry and other zydeco veterans and newcomers performing modern Creole and English tunes.