After successfully introducing Zydeco to a mainstream audience, Chubby wanted to get personal. He wanted to share his experience with an audience who didn’t have access to his music or live shows. With his own childhood in mind, Chubby formed Zydeco A – Z as a means to educate children on Louisiana’s culture, heritage and musical history to keep it alive for future generations.
When I won the Grammy I said, “I want to slow down, but I don’t know what I am going to do as far as the time that I’m gonna have off.”
I started thinking how when I was growing up my family was always asking me to play an instrument. I started hearing stories from kid’s I would see that they couldn’t afford instrument to stay in band. That broke my heart in pieces. So I said, “I gotta do something about this. I could teach these kids how to play an instrument.”
My wife and I were brainstorming one night and she said I should start a program that goes in the class rooms to talk to kids about our heritage and traditions and give them a chance to learn how to play. I am going to call it Zydeco A-Z because I am going to teach them everything about zydeco music. Where Zydeco came from, the instruments involved how it got started and give them a chance to interact with me. Then I am going to invite them to play the accordion, washboard and drums. That’s not being done enough here because our culture is dying, our heritage is dying and some part of our tradition is dying because it’s not being passed on to the next generation.
I know deep down in my heart my daddy and granddaddy kept that family tradition going. They passed it down to the generations just like we’re doing. A lot times today in this world we are caught up in what we call the busy life. We don’t’ have time for that anymore. Now that I got time I am going to talk with kids and let them know how important it is to keep our traditions alive here in Acadiana. So that’s how Zydeco A-Z got started.