John Delafose

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John Delafose
John Delafose.jpg
John Delafose playing the accordion, from some time in the 1980s
Background information
Birth name John Delafose
Born (1939-04-16)April 16, 1939
Duralde, Louisiana, United States
Died September 17, 1994(1994-09-17) (aged 55)
Lawtell, Louisiana, United States
Genres Zydeco
Instruments Accordion
Labels Arhoolie, Rounder
Associated acts Joe Walker, Fernest Arceneaux

John I. Delafose (16 April 1939 – 17 September 1994) was a French speaking Creole Zydeco accordionist from Louisiana.


As a child, Delafose fashioned fiddles and guitars out of old boards and cigar boxes fitted with window-screen wire. He eventually took up the harmonica, and at the age of 18 learned the button accordion. However, he soon turned to farming, and did not pursue music as a career until the early 1970s. He began serving as an accordionist and harpist with a variety of local Zydeco bands.[1]

Delafose began his career playing in the fais do-do of his area, a Cajun dance party. Later he gained public recognition with albums like Joe Pete Got Two Women (Arhoolie) and Blues Stay Away from Me (Rounder). In the mid-1970s he formed the band The Eunice Playboys, with which he played until his death in 1994. The band continues under the direction of his son Geno Delafose.

John Delafose is buried at Saint Mathilda Cemetery in Eunice, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, United States.[2]


Delafose had a dynamic style and strong rural roots, with a strong staccato rhythm on the accordion, which has influenced almost all current Zydeco musicians.[3][4]


  1. ^ "Artist Biography by Jason Ankeny". Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ "John I. Delafose - Find a Grave Memorial". Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  3. ^ Herzhaft, Gérard: La gran enciclopedia del blues, Ed. RobinBook, Barcelona, 2003, ISBN 84-95601-82-6, p. 382 (Encyclopedia of the Blues, University of Arkansas Press)
  4. ^ This article incorporates information from the corresponding article in the Spanish Wikipedia

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