Posted on Tue Nov 26, 2013
Join us as we travel across Texas to find young accordion players for our annual Big Squeeze program. We will be holding one of our talent showcases in Dallas at the Latino Cultural Center. Featuring special performances from Grammy Award winning Michael Salgado and our reigning champ, Michael Ramos with Los Morales Boyz. Participants may be invited to perform at the finals in Austin in April....
Posted on Fri Nov 22, 2013
Photos by David Dodd: David Lee Garza with Johnny Ramirez (2008 Big Squeeze Champion) and Isaiah Tellez
Texas Folklife is proud to announce that one of its board members, Armando Sanchez, has produced a Latin Grammy Award winning CD, David Lee Garza's "Just Friends." Garza won the award last night at the 14th annual Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas. A highly regarded and...
Posted on Fri Nov 15, 2013
The Big Squeeze is a documentary film that follows the newest generation of young accordion players as they compete for Texas Folklife’s annual Big Squeeze Accordion Contest held as part of the Accordion Kings and Queens Festival in Houston, Texas.
The Big Squeeze was produced and directed by Hector Galan and is a co-production of Galán Inc and Texas Folklife. It was released on DVD in...
Posted on Tue Nov 12, 2013
Until I started interning for Texas Folklife and researching for our annual Big Squeeze accordion program, I had no idea that Texans had any legitimate claim to zydeco as their own musical and cultural tradition. And, after doing research about zydeco in Texas, I also discovered that Houston had one of the most active zydeco communities in the state. An interesting and...
Posted on Thu Nov 7, 2013
It seems like one of the easiest words in Texas to use as a pun is wurst. My head was full of clever puns after attending Wurstfest in New Braunfels last weekend. A two-week celebration of the German influence on Texas culture through food and music is what this 50 year old festival is all about. As always, my reason for going was to hear some of the best German & Czech bands from around the...
Posted on Tue Nov 5, 2013
3pm Genuine mariachi music Mariachi Corbetas featuring former Big Squeeze participant Anthony Ortiz Jr.
4pm Mexican Son Jarocho music with local group Son Armado
5pm West African music and dance with former Texas Folklife apprenticeship master artist Jean-Claude Lessou
Posted on Thu Oct 31, 2013
Last weekend I attended the Blackpot Festival in Lafayette for the first time. Blackpot is a music and food festival celebrating the culture of Southern Louisiana's Acadiana Region. There is a wide range of musical styles and a variety of foods, each being prepared in - you guessed it: black pots. One of the things I found interesting was the similarities between this region and the Gulf Coast...
Posted on Mon Oct 28, 2013
There are a number of conjunto festivals throughout the state, and the Veterano Conjunto Festival organized by musician Linda Escobar stands out for its emphasis on honoring Mexican-American military veterans and providing scholarships to young musicians. The festival was subject of a chapter by border archivist Margaret Dorsey and Miguel Diaz-Barriga in the book, Transnational Encounters:...
Posted on Mon Oct 28, 2013
Yesterday Cristina Balli and I met up with Dust to Digital founder Lance Ledbetter at Carnitas Uruapan in San Antonio's West Side, where legendary accordionist Santiago Jimenez, Jr. plays conjunto each week. Ledbetter was in the Central Texas area for the Austin Record Convention, where he featured Dust to Digital's extensive catalogue of regional folk and traditional music...
Posted on Wed Oct 23, 2013
The Elisabet Ney Museum is the former studio and portrait collection created by 19th century sculptor Elisabet Ney. The museum offers a range of educational programs, exhibits, special events, workshops and lectures throughout the year.