Grand Nationals, Andre Thierry and Zydeco Magic

Grand Nationals

Andre Thierry and Zydeco Magic

The Blue Pharaohs

Fri, August 12, 2011

9:00 pm

This event is 21 and over

Grand Nationals - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
Grand Nationals
San Francisco's Grand Nationals are here to make a big, beautiful racket. We draw on the full wellspring of American music to tell tall tales that ring true and make a big, joyful noise that's full of soul.

Wholesome goodness, high nutritional content, always fresh, part of a balanced diet--they all come to mind when describing our 4-to-7 minute musical excursions. We’re a nice helping of rock and roll, but there’s also a sprinkle of blues, dash of old soul, smidge of honky tonk, pinch of reggae and some other flavors mixed in, too. Generally, we strive to write music that sounds good and lyrics that don't sound stupid. We don’t necessarily want to make you think, but we do want to make you feel good.

Please see for yourself. We go great with your beverage of choice at any one of San Francisco's many fine musical venues. In the last two years, we’ve made sounds at Café Du Nord, El Rio, Hotel Utah, Grant & Green, Pier 23, Red Devil Lounge, and more.

We don’t feel old, but we're not new. Grand National came together in the Summer of 2009, but traces its roots back some 20 years through all kinds of bands, including Sauce, Toast, West of Five, Bonafide, In Like Flynn, Tebucky Jones, Varmints, Bill Meyer Band, Evergreene, and others.
Andre Thierry and Zydeco Magic - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
Andre Thierry and Zydeco Magic
Andre Thierry is a phenomenal talent who has been capturing the attention of other musicians and music lovers since he was a toddler. Andre's French Creole heritage is deeply rooted in Louisiana though he is California-born. Michael Tisserand, author of The Kingdom of Zydeco, considered the definitive book on the history of Zydeco music, wrote, "In America, great migrations produce great music. Just as Delta musicians took Highway 61 to Chicago and electrified their blues, so did the Creoles and Cajuns migrate to California and establish vital dance communities. Now the California scenes rival anything back home in Louisiana, and that's due to players like Andre Thierry, a standard bearer for the new generation. Thierry is among the best of both the West Coast and the Gulf Coast, and he combines youthful vigor with a mature appreciation for his inherited tradition."

Andre's story begins July 9, 1979, when he was born in Richmond, California to Olivia "Tee" Guillory originally from Basile, Louisiana and Gregory Thierry, originally from Jennings, Louisiana. Andre's childhood was deeply influenced by his maternal grandparents, the late Houston Pete Pitre (Pa-Pa as they called him) from Basile, Louisiana and his loving grandmother, known to all as Mama Lena Pitre from Soileau, Louisiana.

Andre grew up experiencing the French Creole (La-La) dances his grandparents held at their church parish, St. Mark's Catholic Church. The best Zydeco musicians Louisiana had to offer traveled to California to play at the dances and spent considerable time at the Pitre's house while in the area. On one such visit, the "King of Zydeco," the late great Clifton Chenier, grabbed three-year old Andre by the arms and deemed him a future accordion player. From then on, Andre's Pa-Pa, Houston Pete, encouraged the young Andre to play the accordion.

Andre was captivated by Clifton Chenier and when he was given his first accordion by local musician, Billy Wilson (currently with MotorDude Zydeco), he began teaching himself to play by listening to Clifton Chenier's music. Andre demonstrated an innate musical ability and his skill quickly grew. Andre played his first song, Willis Prudhomme's version of "Give'm Cornbread" in the backyard of his grandparent's home, for his delighted family. He soon began playing Clifton Chenier's music on stages all over Northern California.

His grandparents continued to host Louisiana musicians and this exposure to his heritage allowed him to develop his love for, and mastery of, traditional French Creole music. By age twelve, with the help of his mother, Andre formed his own band, "Zydeco Magic." Andre's repertoire grew by leaps and bounds as he was regularly invited to play with numerous visiting bands, such as the late John Delafose, his son, Geno Delafose, and many local Zydeco and Cajun bands, including the late Danny Poullard (California Cajun Orchestra), MotorDude Zydeco, and Zydeco Flames.

Andre is a virtuoso on all accordion types, single row, double row, triple row and piano key, plus a gifted composer and song-writer. His music features many of his original tunes. He can effortlessly move across musical types to deliver an energetic two-step, traditional Creole waltz, hard-driving blues or merging traditional Zydeco music with hip-hop, jazz and rock-bringing you a sound stamped with Andre Thierry all over it. Although Andre's instrument of choice is the accordion he also displays talent on bass guitar, rhythm guitar and drums. Thanks to his parents and grandparents he sings traditional songs in original Creole French and his voice has matured into rich and soulful tones.

As quoted from an article published in Eh Toi magazine 2002, "There is no accordion player in Zydeco that uses his left hand as well as Andre Thierry." While playing Washington, D.C. in 2003, the Washington Post called Andre a "master" at "pumping out fast, funky rhythms on an instrument not usually associated with earthy syncopation. A versatile student of the music, Thierry can't be lumped into Zydeco's old-school R&B-influenced camp or its nouveau, rap-inspired one: He and his band, Zydeco Magic, lay down both soulful, traditional slow-dances and bottom-end-booming kinetic groovers." Andre's love of all things musical and his passion for playing for his audiences delight dancers and music lovers everywhere.

Andre released his first CD "It's About Time!" in 1999, his second CD, "Whole Lot of Something" in 2004, and then a special CD "Christmas With Andre Thierry" in 2006. His latest CD, "Andre Thierry and Zydeco Magic LIVE! At the Woodshop" was released in September 2008. Andre's CDs have received great reviews from his growing listening audience as well as from fellow musicians in rock, blues, hip hop and Zydeco genres.

The San Francisco Bay Area, which is home to some of the best blues musicians in the world, showed its appreciation by presenting Andre Thierry and Zydeco Magic with the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame award for "Best Zydeco Group" in 2008. In 2009, Andre recorded "Black Gal" with Elvin Bishop on Elvin's great CD "The Blues Roll On."

Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic will capture your attention and serve up an unparalleled musical experience that captivates your soul. If you like to dance, Andre will have you moving your feet all night long. The late great Clifton Chenier said something like this: "you dance Zydeco, your aches and pains will be gone." We dare you to set through one of Andre's songs. It can't be done!
The Blue Pharaohs - (Set time: 11:00 PM)
Venue Information:
Hotel Utah
500 4th Street
San Francisco, CA, 94107