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.)
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.?
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 mySA.com blog.
“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.
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.