Your article titled “Rock the Vote ” (Feb. 6) raised some interesting issues in the Grammy process. However, it failed to address a major problem within the Cajun and zydeco category itself. The only thing Cajun and zydeco music genres have in common is that they originate in Louisiana. Otherwise, they are as distinctly different as the blues and R&B.
Moreover, the Grammy categories under the Latin field are numerous and clearly distinguish the differences among the various Latin genres. The cluttering of Cajun and Zydeco music into one Grammy category constitutes an egregious insult and slap in the face to the pioneer artists who have spent lifetimes preserving the uniqueness and roots of these completely distinct music genres that just happen to have originated in the same unique geographical area.
It is a shame that the Cajun and zydeco genres are not treated as the other music genres by the Grammy organization. Why would artists allow the establishment to blur the lines of these two genres when artists before them have gone to such great lengths and sacrifices to preserve the unique identities of each?
The Creole and Cajun artists and cultures alike can and should insist on separate Grammy categories for Cajun and zydeco music.
Editor’s note: Writer Steve Hochman actually did address this issue of only one category for music from south Louisiana: “So as far as the Grammys are concerned, Creole zydeco greats [Terrance] Simien and [Geno] Delafose, Cajun neo-traditionalists the Pine Leaf Boys, Racines and Lost Bayou Ramblers along with [Lisa] Haley and rootsy songwriter [Roddie] Romero — each of which are some of both or none of either, depending on who you ask — are all competing together. To some extent it’s as if they put Diana Ross and Iggy Pop competing in a ‘Detroit’ category ...”