FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Austin, Texas – March 28, 2016 – Texas Folklife is pleased to announce the lineup for the Big Squeeze Tenth Anniversary Extravaganza Concert, to be held on Saturday, May 7, from 1:00-5:00 p.m., at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. The concert will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Texas Folklife’s Big Squeeze statewide youth accordion contest, and feature past contest winners who will showcase a variety of Texas-based accordion genres including
Since its launch in 2007, the Big Squeeze has helped Texas Folklife carry out its mission to preserve and promote Texas’s diverse cultural heritage. Through the Big Squeeze program, Texas Folklife has built a reputation as a champion of Texas accordion music genres, and supported over 200 young, talented players in their efforts to carry on these community-based accordion music traditions. In order to better nurture the young talent throughout the state, Texas Folklife restructured the popular contest in 2014 to include three Grand Prize Winners, each from one of three main accordion genres—polka, zydeco, and conjunto. The polka genre included German, Czech, and Polish traditions, while Cajun/zydeco included Creole and Cajun musical traditions, and conjunto included norteño and Tejano. As a result of these efforts, the Big Squeeze welcomed a diverse class of six total champions in 2014 and 2015, including the first-ever female contest winner, Elisabeth Kelley (Cajun). The Tenth Anniversary Extravaganza Concert will reflect the array of unique Texas accordion music traditions by featuring a diverse lineup of past Big Squeeze champions.
“The 10-year anniversary of the Big Squeeze is a great opportunity for celebrating the work our organization and our partners across the state have accomplished since 2007 to nurture young Texas accordion talent,” said Texas Folklife’s Acting Director Charlie Lockwood. “Many past winners of the contest have gone on to form their own bands and launch professional performance or music education careers. We are excited this year to be able to bring them back to Austin to celebrate their achievements and highlight the impact of the Big Squeeze as a statewide program.”
The Big Squeeze is supported by Hohner, Inc., and by grants from Texas Commission on the Arts, the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division, the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board, the Houston Endowment, and The Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation. Additional support provided by the Texas Music Office and Central Texas Accordion Association. This project is funded in part by The City of Austin through the Economic Development Dept./Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the arts is an investment in Austin’s future, Visit www.NowPlayingAustin.com
About Texas Folklife
Texas Folklife is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. For over 30 years, Texas Folklife has honored cultural traditions passed down within communities, explored their importance in contemporary society, and celebrated them by providing accessible and joyful arts experiences.