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Keith Frank

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One of the leading lights of the "nouveau zydeco" movement, accordionist Keith Frank -- the son of zydeco great Preston Frank -- fused the traditional sound of his father's generation with latter-day influences ranging from James Brown to Bob Marley to forge his own urbanized and infectiously danceable style. Born in Soileau, Louisiana in 1972, Frank began playing professionally at the age of four, sitting in on a variety of instruments with his father's combo the Family Zydeco Band; despite focusing on the accordion from the age of six onward, he initially loathed zydeco and the pressures of performing, but in high school finally gave in to the music's pull and formed his own group. As Preston Frank began to ease into retirement, Keith gradually assumed leadership duties of the family band, which now also included his sister Jennifer on bass and brother Brad on drums; as he gained confidence, he began adding elements of rap to his music, a move which dismayed purists but met with wide approval from younger listeners. Frank issued his debut album What's His Name? in 1994 and remained a prolific force in the years to follow. ~ Jason Ankeny

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1972 in Soileau, LA

Years Active:

'90s, '00s