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Meet The Founders2018-08-16T15:18:28+00:00

About The Founders

The Williams family is the most influential “Zydeco family” in the world. As Nathan Williams, Sr. has passed the torch to his two young sons, Lil Nate and Naylan, it can truly be said that they are the
NEW ZYDECO DYNASTY.

NATHAN
NATHAN
For over 35 years, Nathan Williams, Sr. has been a driving force in the Kingdom of Zydeco. He has become the leading Festival Act in the USA and he is the only Zydeco artist to perform at the Grand Ol Opry in Nashville and the Apollo Theater in New York. He has played the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.. Nathan has dedicated Zydeco-TV to his two mentors, Clifton Chenier and Buckwheat Zydeco.
LIL NATE
LIL NATE
Lil Nate, Nathan’s oldest son, has earned the hardest working man in Zydeco title by his work ethic taught to him by his Father. He and his band, The Zydeco Big Timers, perform all over the USA. Lil Nate recently built CHA CHA STUDIOS in Lafayette, Louisiana. He teaches at the University of Louisiana where he got his degree in Music.
NAYLAN
NAYLAN
The youngest son, Naylan is one of the best Zydeco drummers in the world, having played since he was 6. He plays a mean scrubboard, too and has taught himself keyboards and accordion. He sings, loves pretty girls, and wants to be in movies. Naylan is destined to be a star.

History

Nathan Williams (born March 24, 1963) is an American Zydeco accordionist and singer.

Williams grew up in a Creole-speaking home in St. Martinville, Louisiana, the youngest of seven children. Times were hard for the Williams family and Williams lost his father when he was only seven years old. He developed his musical sensibility in his hometown, a place rich in folk tradition, following in the footsteps of his uncle, the Cajun guitarist Harry Hypolite. Nathan eagerly sought out the music of Zydeco originators such as Clifton Chenier. When he was too young to attend a Chenier dance at a St. Martinville club, he hovered by the window-sized fan at the back of the building to hear his idol, only to have the bill of his baseball cap clipped off by the fan when he leaned too close.

Williams moved to Lafayette, Louisiana to live with his older brother Sid and his wife. He worked in Sid’s grocery store. Later, while recovering from a serious illness, Nathan decided to dedicate himself to learning the accordion. He began practicing in the bathroom because he did not want anyone to hear him play. His main mentor was Buckwheat Zydeco, although his biggest influence was Clifton Chenier.

Just five years after graduating from high school, Williams was recording 45s on his brother’s El Sid independent record label. He set up a club in Lafayette, which became a center of fashion.

In 1988 Williams performed for the first time at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, after which he got his lucky break. Buckwheat Zydeco had left Rounder Records for Island Records, leaving Rounder in need of an accordionist to fill a spot on a project they had lined up. Buckwheat Zydeco suggested Williams for the position, and he auditioned and got the recording contract. Later he formed his band, Nathan Williams and the Zydeco Cha Chas, with which he plays to this day.

“It all boils down to simple facts: Clifton is gone, Buckwheat is gone, Rockin’ Dopsie, Sr. is gone. Nathan Williams, Sr. is the real King of Zydeco. There is no other way to look at it.”

BOB VERNON - PERSONAL MANAGER

Great Memories

Nothing says smile more than a collection of classic pictures.