The Best Creole Bands/Artists

Over 70 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Creole Bands/Artists

Creole music artists list, with photos, ranked best to worst by votes. List of good creole music bands includes a filter so you can sort by the groups’s label and what albums they've put out. This list of the top creole music bands in the world includes all musicians who have released recordings that have gotten distribution, and is an up-to-date list. Creole music groups and artists are shown below along with any additional genres in which their music belongs. If available, you can also see information about where all creole music bands on this list got started. These are truly the greatest creole music bands of all time, since the most famous creole music artists ever are listed, and the order is decided by actual fans of the best creole music music.

You can click on the creole music band names to see more information about that particular notable creole music group. If they're near the top of the best creole music artist list, though, then they should have at least some information available. All the top creole music bands named on the list also have discographies on their pages if you click on the creole music band names themselves.

The list you're viewing has a variety of artists, like Clifton Chenier and Evan Christopher, in it. Vote for your favorites to get them to rise to the top of the list. If you don't like Canray Fontenot or Terrance Simien, then give them a thumbs down.

All important, significant and iconic names in creole music music history deserve your votes, so make sure to choose wisely. You can only vote once on this list.

The list includes all new creole music bands, and if there are any missing on the list, you can always add them yourself. Just make sure they aren't already on the list and check your spelling, because this is already an accurate compilation of the best examples of creole music, as well as a good place to start if you're asking yourself, or friends, exactly how to get into creole music music. Especially since the bands at the top of the list will at the very least be the best choices if you're looking for a list of good creole music bands with which to start out. No point in listening to them if they aren't actually good or even half-way decent creole music bands.

This list answers the questions "who are the best creole music bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest creole music musician ever?"

If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular creole music bands that you might've heard of, but not really listened to closely enough to cast an informed vote.

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  • Terrance Simien (born September 3, 1965 in Mallet, Louisiana) is an American zydeco musician, vocalist and songwriter. He and his group won the Grammy Award for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album in 2008. Simien and several of his other band mates, Danny J. Williams, Stan Chambers and Jose Alvarez won their second GRAMMY in 2013, Dockside Sessions for Best Regional Roots Record, produced by George Receli, (Bob Dylan, White Trash, Lou Garou). Simien is an eighth generation Creole from one of the earliest Creole families documented to have settled in the Mallet area of St. Landry Parish. He was introduced to music via the piano at home, the Catholic Church choir, and in school band programs where he played trumpet. While in his teens, he taught himself to play accordion and formed his first band Terrance Simien & The Mallet Playboys, and began to play the regional zydeco club and church hall circuit. In the early 1980s, Simien was a youth in his early 20s and one of only two (Sam Brothers was the other) emerging zydeco artists leading a band and performing their indigenous zydeco roots music. This was a pivotal time in zydeco music history since the pioneers of the genre were aging and the music was in jeopardy of dying off without the critical presence of emerging artists continuing the traditions. Upon being asked about his opinion of his debut album in a 1991 interview, Simien said: "I think we've done what we set out to do, and that is catch the energy of the live performance. Also give the audience something new that we couldn't do live. But we basically stayed true to what we were doing; we didn't try to make a hit song. We just put out what we've been doing for the past five years on the road, and it couldn't have come out any better than it did. There are some disappointments. You always wish you had more time, more money, more everything."Simien and his group have toured internationally, presenting over 8500 live performances in more than 45 countries, and released dozens of solo recordings and collaborations. He has shared studio and stage with the likes of Paul Simon, Dr. John, The Meters, Marcia Ball, Dave Matthews, Stevie Wonder, Robert Palmer and the roots rockers Los Lobos.Simien has appeared on screen and contributed to the soundtracks of multiple movies, television films and commercials. He appears on the soundtrack of the Disney film, The Princess and the Frog set in the French Quarter of New Orleans, featuring authentic Louisiana music scored by Randy Newman. He has also contributed to the soundtracks of movies, such as, The Big Easy, Exit To Eden and A Murder Of Crows. Simien and his business partner/wife, Cynthia, are active in Creole music education and advocacy. They created the "Creole for Kidz & The History of Zydeco" performing arts program, which provides informational performances to K-12 students, teachers and parents. Since it was created in 2001, Creole for Kidz has reached nearly 500,000 students, parents and teachers in more than 20 states, Mali, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Paraguay, Canada and Australia. The Simiens understand the importance of mentoring emerging artists and created MusicMatters, Inc., a non-profit for education and advocacy.In 2007, the Simiens helped establish a new Grammy voting category, Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album. His group, Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience, were the first ensemble to win a Grammy in that same category in 2008.He is considered to be one of the most gifted vocalists, engaging performers and innovative recording artists in American roots music.
    • Genres (Music): Americana, Creole music, Traditional music, Folk music, Zydeco
    • Albums: The Tribute Sessions, There's Room for Us All, Zydeco on the Bayou
    • Nationality: United States of America
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    16 votes
    Cedric Watson (born 1983) is an American musician. He has been nominated four times for Grammy Awards.
    • Genres (Music): Creole music, Cajun music
    • Albums: L'Ésprit Créole, Cedric Watson, Creole Moon: Live at the Blue Moon Saloon
    • Nationality: United States of America
  • Clifton Chenier (June 25, 1925 – December 12, 1987), a Louisiana French-speaking native of Opelousas, Louisiana, was an eminent performer and recording artist of Zydeco, which arose from Cajun and Creole music, with R&B, jazz, and blues influences. He played the accordion and won a Grammy Award in 1983. He was a recipient of a 1984 National Heritage Fellowship awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts, which is the United States government's highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. He was inducted posthumously into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1989, and the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2011. In 2014, he was a recipient of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.He was known as the King of Zydeco, and also billed as the King of the South.
    • Genres (Music): Creole music, Cajun music, Swamp blues, Rhythm and blues, Jazz
    • Albums: Louisiana Blues And Zydeco, Bon Ton Roulet! & More, Bayou Blues, Zydeco Sont Pas Sale, Bogalusa Boogie
    • Nationality: United States of America
  • Evan Christopher is an American clarinetist and composer based in New Orleans, Louisiana. Recognized mainly for a personal brand of "contemporary early-jazz,” he strives to extend the legacy of the unique clarinet style anchored in the musical vocabulary created by early New Orleans clarinetists such as Lorenzo Tio Jr., Sidney Bechet, Omer Simeon, Barney Bigard, and Johnny Dodds.
    • Albums: Delta Bound, Django à la Créole
    • Nationality: United States of America
  • Canray Fontenot (October 16, 1922 – July 29, 1995) was an American Creole fiddle player, who has been described as "the greatest Creole Louisiana French fiddler of our time."
    • Genres (Music): Creole music, Cajun music, Zydeco
    • Albums: Les Blues Du Bayou, La Musique Creole, Louisiana Hot Sauce, Creole Style
    • Nationality: United States of America
  • D'Jalma Garnier III (born 1954, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA) is a musician and composer best known for Creole and Cajun fiddle and "outside" musical compositions and collaborations with other artists. His musical heritage descends from the Camelia Brass Band in New Orleans led by his grandfather, D'Jalma Thomas Garnier (also spelled Ganier while with Camelia Brass Band), a legendary early jazz player noted on the Preservation Hall roster in the New Orleans French Quarter and who was a trumpet player, pianist and violinist said to have taught Louis Armstrong at the New Orleans Boys Home for Colored Waifs. D'Jalma Garnier, the fiddler, composer, guitarist, and "pedestrian scholar" of Louisiana Creole fame, is the older brother of Tony Garnier, born 1956, Bob Dylan's band leader and bass player for the Neverending Tour Band since 1989. The two brothers, along with musician Stephen "Stevo" Théard (son of Magdelene Elizabeth Garnier, and grandson of Papa Garnier) are the only descendants of Papa Garnier to become professional musicians in the legacy of this significant New Orleans musical family. D'Jalma Garnier has been the subject and contributor of many articles and documentaries about Louisiana Creole music. He plays fiddle and guitar, and has performed and recorded with many leading Creole musicians. His study of Creole fiddle playing was advanced as the result of a two-year Texas Folklife Resources Grant to study and perform with the NEA National Heritage Award winner Canray Fontenot. D'Jalma has taught this material repeatedly at the Augusta Folklife Heritage Camp in North Carolina, for Louisiana Folk Roots in Lafayette, and in other workshops at home and abroad.The musical accomplishments of Garnier's heritage and work with zydeco and Cajun bands in Acadiana does not detract from his work as an ethnomusicologist of Louisiana Francophone cultures or forays into avant-garde and electronic music. He is a multi-instrumentalist who performs professionally on bass and guitar, as well as fiddle, in a variety of genres. His musical work with poets includes performances and recordings with Allen Ginsberg and Hedwig Gorski, among others. Garnier produces Passport to Modern Jazz on KRVS-FM radio to "walk you through the gate" of new and progressive artists.
    • Genres (Music): Creole music, Zydeco