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.


Flaco Jiménez: Will the ‘King of Conjunto’ finally play with his brother Santiago Jiménez Jr.?

The 31st annual TCF has attractions for all tastes: the young, the old, and the fusion-minded. But none of those attractions shine more than the potential for three, five, 10, 15 minutes, or whatever Flaco Jiménez and his brother Santiago Jiménez Jr. could give us.

The brothers, children of Santiago Jiménez Sr. and two of the greatest living legends of conjunto in their own right, haven’t recorded together since 1960, and haven’t played together since 1982, when they shared the stage with their father at the very first Tejano Conjunto Festival in 1982. While Santiago is ready for the gig, Flaco was surprised when I asked him about it.

“They have sort of a long duel, an estrangement of sorts,” said festival director Juan Tejeda. “Santiago is willing to do it, but I spoke mainly to Flaco’s son about doing a polkita or two in tribute to their father. That’s the plan, and we all hope it happens.

Read the whole article here: “Flaco Jiménez: Will the ‘King of Conjunto’ finally play with his brother Santiago Jiménez Jr.? 

Tejano Conjunto Fest gets under way

The Seniors Conjunto Dance, the kickoff event to the 31st annual Tejano Conjunto Festival en San Antonio, is a free event for seniors featuring a different conjunto each year.

Juan Tejeda, founder and music coordinator of the festival that showcases new and old styles of conjunto music, said the dance pays tribute to seniors.  Read the entire article here: ConexiónSA | a blog.

Tejano Conjunto Festival mixes old, new

As the Guadalupe Cultural Art Center‘s Tejano Conjunto Festival en San Antonio celebrates its 31st incarnation, it does so by balancing the ways of the old guard with those who are searching for new directions.

Festival co-founder and organizer Juan Tejeda wouldn’t have it any other way…

Read more:

Festival seeks to establish Live Music Capital as Conjunto Country

Conjunto music, which began at the end of the 19th century, is folk music, similar to blues or old‐style country, and tells the stories of the everyday lives of the working class. It is also dance music, characterized by a strong, unrelenting beat and bright accordion melodies, evidence of the fusion of German and Mexican immigrant cultures in south Texas at the beginning of the 20th century.

It was tremendously popular among working‐class Hispanic Texans during the post‐World War II era. Then, audiences flocked to Tejano music, which was a heavily influenced by rock, rhythm and blues and jazz, beginning in the late 1960s and 1970s, nearly wiping out conjunto on radio playlists everywhere.

Read article : Festival seeks to establish Live Music Capital as Conjunto Country | The Blackland Reporter.

Reuben Garza’s Journey with Tejano Music

“Reuben Garza is no stranger to awards ceremonies, he has been inducted to the Hall of Fame of Conjunto Music in Alice, Corpus Christi and San Antonio, Texas, and he was also a Latin Grammy nominee for best Bajo Sexto player. The Bajo Sexto is a twelve string bass guitar.

I sat with him on Wednesday August 18, 2011 at his Barber shop located on 319 North First Street in Harlingen, Texas, where Reuben, looking like a true dandy Conjunto player, agreed to this interview.”

Click here to read interview –Reuben Garza’s Journey with Tejano Music | La Vida Valle.

Tejano Roots in Alice struggles to keep museum, music alive

Whether the term is Chicano, Mexican-American, conjunto or ranchero, the musical roots are all the same.

Tejano music in South Texas is a cultural experience, and while some believe it is dying, others are working to preserve it.

The Tejano Roots Hall of Fame Museum in Alice is doing just that.

Read the article here…Corpus Christi Caller-Times.