NPR – Conjunto Music in Austin

Conjunto music used to be a staple in Austin, Texas. Blending polka and mariachi influences, Conjunto reflects a broad diversity of foreign cultures represented among migrant farm workers. You can hear it in this City Life Snapshot – part of the NPR Cities Project.

Baldomero Frank Alvarez Cuellar, of Rancho Alegre Radio, is working to bring Conjunto music back at the Moose Lodge in Austin, TX

Thanks to Delaney Hall of Austin Music Map at KUT in Austin – a Localore project from the Association of Independents in Radio.

Listen on  http://npr.tumblr.com/post/31412710062/conjunto-music-used-to-be-a-staple-in-austin .


Todd Cambio of Fraulini Guitars Builds A Bajo Sexto

The man who defined the modern bajo sexto was the great Mexican American luthier Martin Macias from San Antonio, Texas, whose instruments are much sought after by bajo players today. The Macias family is still going strong with George Macias now following in the footsteps of his grandfather Martin and his father Albert.

At the start of this project, I didn’t know much about the bajo sexto and I wanted to get my hands on an old Macias to see how they were made.  My friend Steve James, one of the finest proponents and practitioners of American fingerstyle guitar, knew Don Martin Macias in San Antonio, used to hang out at the shop and has acquired a couple Macias instruments over the years. Steve graciously loaned me a late 1950’s bajo quinto to use as a reference. (A bajo quinto is bascially a 10-string version of a bajo sexto.) 

Read more:The Fretboard Journal: Keepsake magazine for guitar collectors.


Latin Notes: Saluté anniversary a bittersweet event

Azeneth Dominguez’s crowning achievement — Saluté’s 25th anniversary — is admittedly bittersweet.

As the bar owner and loyal patrons celebrate at the St. Mary’s Strip landmark this weekend with Flaco JimenezMax Baca, the West Side Horns, Joe Jama and Los Dudes, it’s with a sinking feeling that things didn’t play out quite the way they’d hoped.


Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/entertainment/article/Salute-celebrates-bittersweet-25th-3630540.php#ixzz1xyQ84QMD

 


Flaco Jimenez steps back in time with duos other half

Fred Ojeda, left, and Flaco Jimenez record as Los Caporales at the Blue Cat Studio. Their cantina-sounding album, the product of sessions in which Jimenez became emotional, will be released this summer. Photo: Billy Calzada, Staff / © 2012 San Antonio Express-News

Flaco Jimenez is back in the studio consumed by a labor of love.  Not to work on a new solo project (he’s vowed those off) but rather to dig deep into his past with the long-extinct Los Caporales, a duo with singer and bajo sexto player Fred Ojeda.

They are the embodiment of the spirit of their boyhood heroes, Los Alegres de Teran.


Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/life/article/Flaco-Jimenez-steps-back-in-time-with-duo-s-other-3627938.php#ixzz1xjfEIDyq

 


Polka on stolen instruments

It’s always the same conversation.

“How can you be Hispanic?” someone asks. You’re way too white and your name is Nathaniel Miller. Nathaniel Andrew Miller.

It’s not the name I chose for myself, I try to explain. My mom’s mistake was marrying a white guy and taking his name.

“Yeah, but how are you Hispanic?” they always ask.

I then end up explaining my family history. My mother’s maiden name was Rocha. Her middle name is Guadalupe. My grandmother’s maiden name was Ramos. To drive it home, I usually go further on down the family tree.

But none of that matters. My mom married a white Oregon boy stationed in San Antonio while with the Marines. Now I have a light skin tone. Love does strange things to people.

Even after my birth, mom’s family members would ask her why she gave me the name she did.

“What ever happened to good Mexican names like Jose and Pepe?” They asked her upon hearing my new name. It didn’t matter what they thought, she said; she loved my name and said it was her gift to me.

I told her if she wanted to give me a gift, she should have gotten me a bicycle….

Read more:Polka on stolen instruments- Odessa American Online.


Blend of tradition, innovation is key

For 23-year-old accordionist Juanito Castillo, traditional conjunto is not even close to being the only type of music he wants to play.

“I like to keep a modern, hip vibe,” says the multi-instrumentalist widely regarded as Esteban “Steve” Jordan’s heir. Castillo will perform Saturday, May 19, at the 31st annual Tejano Conjunto Festival en San Antonio.

Presented by the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, the festival showcases conjunto musicians from across the country. This year’s festival, which kicked off May 15, culminates with a three-day series of shows at Rosedale Park.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/sacultura/conexion/article/Blend-of-tradition-innovation-is-key-3563027.php#ixzz1v9IsPLtO


Reunion of accordion icons to honor their father

Juan Tejeda is betting big that the stars have aligned this weekend.

If all goes as planned, the co-founder and producer of the 31st annual Tejano Conjunto Festival en San Antonio will have pulled off a fantastic coup: the historic reunion of brothers Flaco Jimenez and Santiago Jimenez Jr.

That’s expected at the finale at Rosedale Park on Sunday. Both award-winning musicians are on the bill with separate shows and will (according to Tejeda, Flaco and Santiago) play together at some point to honor their dad.

“It’s going to be history,” said Santiago.


Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/entertainment/article/Latin-Notes-May-17-2012-3562816.php#ixzz1v9HpDnrf

 


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