According to The Boston Globe, “C.J. Chenier attacks the accordion with the tension and drive of James Brown…creating contemporary, turbo-charged dance music.” Having been known as “the heir to the zydeco throne,” C.J.’s music has always embraced the traditions of his famous father, “The King of Zydeco”, Clifton Chenier.
C.J’s earliest musical influences were eclectic, and his first instruments were piano, tenor saxophone and flute. It wasn’t until his 21st birthday, after studying music at Texas Southern University, that C.J. first performed with his famous father and the legendary Red Hot Louisiana Band. After Clifton’s death in 1987, C.J. inherited his dad’s accordion as well as the band, taking his father’s music and building upon it, adding elements of the music he grew up with and infusing traditional zydeco with a contemporary punch, pushing the music to new and exciting levels.
CJ Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band’s 2011 release, Can’t Sit Down received a Grammy nomination.