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Mon, 2014-12-22 04:41

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Texas Folklife

Texas Life and Culture

Cristina's blog

Celebrating Guadalupe

The 12th of December is a very special day for the Mexican people - the day they celebrate their mother, their patroness, la Virgen de Guadalupe.  I grew up Catholic on the Texas-Mexico border and we actually had a bigger devotion to la Virgen de San Juan, the most famous one in San Juan de los Lagos, Jalisco, but also with another famous American shrine in San Juan, Texas.  

Home: Narciso Martinez Conjunto Festival

My home, home is Brownsville, Texas but I consider San Benito my spiritual home, and certainly the home of my career as an arts administrator.  I owe it all to this place – the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center – and I’m always happy to return to its flagship program, the annual Conjunto Festival.

Celtic & Conjunto Music

Without fail each year the Big Squeeze Accordion Contest brings a pleasant surprise, and this year (2013) it was eleven year-old Juan Duenes from Brownsville.  To my astonishment I heard a Celtic jig coming from the stage, and it was little Juanito openining up his audition song with a tune by Irish punk band Dropkick Murphys, before smoothly transitioning to Tejano Conjunto.  The experienced and masterful musical back-up of his teacher, Santiago Castillo, helped him pull it off, but the idea was not inspired by him - it was all Juanito himself.

Seeking Tasty Texas Stories

Texas Folklife Kicks off its State-Wide Food Traditions Survey Exploring South Texas Taquerias

by Cristina Ballí, Program Director

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