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 respected veteran of the Tejano music scene, Garza produced this album as his first solo project (not with his long-time band, Los Musicales) with eleven of his musical friends, famous Tejano vocalists like Marcos Orozco (a previous member of his band), Gary Hobbs, David Farias, Jesse Serrata, Adalberto, Joe Posada, and even San Antonio's Tejano station KXTN radio dj, Jon Ramirez. Garza dedicated this album to his late father, Tony Garza, also an accomplished conjunto accordionist.
This is Garza's second Latin Grammy Award and helps crown his career as a true Texas folklife artist. Hailing from Poteet, Texas, his music is a family tradition that his father established and he has followed together with his brothers Adam (drums), Richard (bass), and their cousin Oscar Montemayor (saxophone.) Their band has been called DLG University because the best Tejano vocalists got their start with them and went on to become famous Tejano legends - Emilio Navaira, Jay Perez, Ram Herrera, and Marcos Orozco, to name a few.
DLG y Los Musicales happens to be my FAVORITE Tejano band. I spent many days and logged many miles in my new Ford Ranger in the 1990s driving around Texas following them around. From small towns (Jourdanton, Floresville, Brian) to the Rio Grande Valley, to urban centers like Houston and San Antonio, to me this band represented the life of Tejanos - still enjoying music rooted in tradition with a strong ethnic identity in a vibrant social scene. They were the soundtrack to my coming of age into adulthood, and of all that I have many fond memories.
Many years later I was thrilled to have a brief opportunity to work with Mr. Garza when he generously gave his time to perform alongside Big Squeeze participants at our Houston Audition at Cactus Music, thanks to our board member Armando Sanchez who arranged it all. Mr. Sanchez is a music industry veteran based in Houston and was the executive producer of this last Grammy Award Winning CD for DLG. He was also executive producer of Texas Folklife's Accordion Kings and Queens Live! CD, so we're all in good company!
On this November 22nd, feast day of St. Cecilia (patron saint of musicians) and international Dia del Musico, FELICIDADES to Armando Sanchez and David Lee Garza!