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.

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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.

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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 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…

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Local legend fulfilled dream

At Janie’s Record Shop, Juanita Esparza is a legend to her customers. They come from all over to pick “Miss Janie’s” brain on everything conjunto or Tejano, and she doesn’t disappoint.

“People come in here to test her,” says her daughter Rebecca “Becky” Deleon. “She’s never failed. People say, ‘Janie doesn’t have it? You don’t need it!’”

Esparza was honored earlier this month with the 2011 Tejano Music Awards Lifetime Achievement Award alongside Flaco Jimenez for being a pioneer and trendsetter in Tejano music. She has also been inducted into the National Hispanic Music Hall of Fame and has appeared in Billboard Magazine, thanks to her record shop, now 26 years old.
Read more: – San Antonio Express-News.

KEDA vs. KEDA: Will the spirit of Radio Jalapeño survive?

On Friday, July 29, “Güero Polkas” Ricky Dávila, the Wolfman Jack of San Antonio radio signed off the air for the last time in 44 years. It was his last show and the beginning of the end of KEDA Radio Jalapeño 1540 AM, the family-owned conjunto radio station that has broadcasted from an old building on South Flores Street since 1966.But was it the end, really?

This is my favorite quote of the article by Danny Casanova…

“I just hope people will continue to listen to conjunto music in San Antonio,” said Casanova. “Tejano, country, and disco were a craze. Conjunto music is a culture.”

Read the article via -The San Antonio Current.

Radio Jalapeño says adios for the last time

Ricky “Güero Polkas” Davila conducted his final show at KEDA on Friday morning as he has for the past 44 years — sharing stories on and off the air and spinning his favorite music.

As always, he played the vibrant, maverick mix of conjunto, rock ‘n’ roll, blues and R&B that earned him the reputation as San Antonio’s Wolfman Jack.

With emotion showing on his face, Davila walked up the 25 steps to the South Flores Street office for the last time, turning on the lights in hallways decorated with decades-old memorabilia.

“I’m thinking about all the people we helped,” said Davila, looking around at the treasured collection. “I gave everybody a chance. We were the jukebox for the house. We were rebels, kind-hearted ones.”

He opened his 6-10 a.m. radio show with Flaco Jimenez‘s “Tex-Mex Honky Tonk” and closed with Los Fantasmas’ “Se Me Va Las Ganas.” In between, he played everything from the Sir Douglas Quintet‘s “The Rains Came” to Santiago Jimenez Jr.’s “Mi Castigo,” Joe Jama‘s “My Life” and Sunny & the Sunglows’ “Talk to Me.”

Many were saddened and stunned to hear the news this week that KEDA, “Radio Jalapeño,” had been sold to Corpus Christi-based Claro Communications and that the rustic two-story building, a landmark on South Flores Street, was sold to H-E-B.

A few close friends and family members gathered in the small control booth one last time.

Read More– San Antonio Express-News.