Meet Dikki Du Carrier
The Carrier family is as synonymous with Zydeco music as beads are with Mardi Gras. Dikki Du Carrier marks the third generation of the Carriers to keep the musical tradition alive.
“Zydeco is a family thing. If one plays, everyone plays,” says Carrier. His own band consists of his son, first cousin and nephew.
He picked up the washboard at nine years old, the drums at 13, and traveled the world professionally at 19. But Carrier’s life changed when we decided he wanted a band of his own.
“The big dream was to have your own Zydeco band,” he says. “Years ago I said, ‘Hell, I’m not gonna have a band, I don’t even know how to play accordion.’”
Carrier describes the experience of teaching himself how to play accordion. “I just stayed in a room and played the accordion for a whole year. I just went away from music because I really wanted it, but it took a whole year to learn it.”
Although Carrier is open about the rigors that come with being a touring musician, he is quick to praise its benefits. “You meet a lot of great people, and the music is happy music. People that hear it for the first time— they don’t know exactly how to pronounce Zydeco but they will not stop dancing.”
Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe will be performing at the 24th Annual Sandestin Gumbo Festival on Saturday, Feb. 16. “I’m excited about the gumbo fest. It’s good to see the culture of Louisiana traveling around the world, especially the food.” Carrier is looking forward to tasting all the food and performing for his third year at the event.
[Editor's Note - Dikki Du was sad to have to cancel his appearance at the Gumbo Festival this year late in the game.]
Yet it is the future that gets Carrier the most excited. Zydeco continues to grow as a music genre, including a short-lived category in the Grammys from 2008-2011 that Carrier’s brother Chubby won in 2011. “That is amazing and what I’ve wanted to see—Zydeco and the Grammys,” says Carrier.
There’s also the planned reopening of the legendary Offshore Lounge, created by Carrier’s father as a haven for Zydeco. “We would do jam sessions every Thursday night,” says Carrier. “The guys that had dreams of wanting to play Zydeco would come there and study him. That’s where a lot of people got their start. Dad really did a lot for the music.”
Carrier honors his late father’s memory by holding a festival for him every year and is dedicating his upcoming album to him. Louisiana is slated for an early summer 2013 release.
story by Nikki Hedrick, Dikki Du photo by Alison Yii, courtesy SoWal Partner - The Beachcomber