One of the most influential accordionists and vocalists in modern Zydeco music, JEFFERY BROUSSARD is one of the genre’s most dynamic performers. He began his career in 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, and returning to the more traditional Zydeco sound with his own band, JEFFERY BROUSSARD AND THE CREOLE COWBOYS.
BROUSSARD was born in Lafayette, LA on March 10, 1967. He is the youngest of 11 children, having 5 brothers and 5 sisters. The family lived in Frilot Cove, 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 working hard.
JEFFERY’S music career started very early in life, a path like that of many other famous Zydeco musicians. He started playing drums in his father’s band at age 8. 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 snuck into the house to get his daddy’s accordion from the closet where it was stored, and taught himself how to play. His dad suspected that someone was playing his accordion, but never reprimanded JEFFERY for it.
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-style 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 JEFFERY 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 a 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 father’s legacy.