Beau Jocque at the New Orleans Jazz Fest, 1997
|Born||November 1, 1952|
|Died||September 10, 1999
Beau Jocque (born Andrus J. Espre, November 1, 1953 - September 10, 1999) was a Creole American zydeco musician active in the 1990s.
Beau Jocque is known for his gruff vocals, his fusion of many musical styles onto zydeco, and above all, for the powerful energy of his rhythm and sound. Backed by the Hi-Rollers, he became one of the top dance-hall acts of his musical decade.
Beau Jocque was found collapsed in the shower by his wife, dead of an apparent heart attack at the height of his career. He was a long time resident of Kinder, Louisiana and is buried in Saint Matildas Cemetery, Eunice, Louisiana.
Beau Jocque was born Andrus Espre. He was also known to write poetry, and preach about respecting nature. He spent nine years in the Air Force, then came home to work as an electrician and welder. After a work-related accident, which left him bedridden for a time, he began playing accordion. Soon after, he put a band together, including his wife, Shelly on rubboard. By 1989, just two years after his accident, Espree was one of the biggest draws on the Louisiana zydeco circuit.
Andrus grew up speaking Louisiana French and spoke it fluently. A large man (6'6" and 270 pounds) he took the stage name "Beau Jocque," which is Louisiana Creole for "Big Guy." After only a few years, he had revolutionized the zydeco scene, adding funk and rock elements with his band, the Hi-Rollers.
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