NEW YORK (Reuters) - The American accordionist Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural, Jr., who brought wider attention to the Creole musical styles of his native Louisiana through his band Buckwheat Zydeco, died on Saturday, his manager said.
Dural died aged 68 early on Saturday morning, according to a statement posted online by his manager, Ted Fox. His family had previously announced Dural had lung cancer.
“He died at 1:32 AM Louisiana time, keeping musician’s hours right to the bitter end,” Fox wrote.
Dural remained the best-known star of the bluesy, toe-tapping musical genre known as zydeco, winning a Grammy award in 2010 for his album “Lay Your Burden Down.”
He was born in 1947 in Lafayette, Louisiana. His father was an amateur accordion player, but Dural preferred playing the organ as a child, according to a biography on his website. He dabbled in funk music in the 1970s with bandmates before learning to play the accordion 1978 and returning to the musical roots of his father. He would form Buckwheat Zydeco soon after.
Dural gained national fame in the 1980s after signing to Island Records.
He would go on to perform with Eric Clapton and Lyle Lovett, and played at both of President Bill Clinton’s inaugurations and at the closing ceremony of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, according to a biography on his website.
Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Matthew Lewis