Jude Taylor: Zydeco Accordion

Jude Taylor is a hidden gem in the zydeco music scene today. A latecomer to the industry, 50 year old Jude Taylor from Grand Coteau, Louisiana has a unique style of zydeco that combines some of the best elements of jazz, blues, Cajun, and rock ‘n’ roll into a musical mix that has catapulted him and his Burning Flames band to headliner status along the club circuit in the Northeast and as part of many international and national zydeco tours. 

Originally a blues vocalist, Jude Taylor picked up the piano key accordion in the decade of the eighties having been inspired by the success and followings of artists like Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural, Jr. and the "King of Zydeco," Clifton Chenier. He spent a good time in his early days shadowing these two zydeco legends and working as part of the road crew, singing background vocals and serving as a personal valet. His soulful rhythm and blues style of zydeco was most influenced by the styles of Chenier and Marcel Dugas, and Taylor was clearly able to perfect his sound as he followed these masters through the Louisiana zydeco dance halls of Grand Coteau, St. Martinville, Lafayette and Lawtell. 

Sometimes overshadowed by the wealth and popularity of new young talent emerging on the Cajun-Zydeco scene today, Jude Taylor remains both pragmatic and focused on his art. He once  told Lafayette freelance writer Todd Mouton, "I’m not downing anyone. I’m not out there mumblin’ and jumblin’ words together – I’m out there to send a message or tell a story." For Jude Taylor and his many fans the message is one of keeping the traditional zydeco-blues fires burning. The gentle-man from Grand Coteau remains most comfortable interpreting the musical sounds of Clifton Chenier,  Boozoo Chavis, B.B. King, Buckwheat, Roy Carrier and perhaps even Beau Jocque. His style of zydeco-blues is remarkably laced with uplifting rhythms that propel his audiences to the dance floor.