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Texas Folklife

Texas Life and Culture

Big Squeeze

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The Big Squeeze Youth Accordion Showcase
The Big Squeeze is a statewide contest for accordion players ages 21 and under to showcase their performance abilities in any genre of music: polka, zydeco, conjunto, Tejano, Cajun, and more!
Most recent articles, events, video, audio and blog posts for this page:
  • Posted on Sun Oct 6, 2013
    The 8th Annual Big Squeeze contest & concert returns to the Bullock Museum in Austin!   This year we'll have 9 finalists competing in 3 separate categories: Conjunto (including Norteno, Tejano, etc); Zydeco (including Cajun, Creole, etc), and Polka (including Czech, German-style, etc.)  THERE WILL BE 3 WINNERS CHOSEN IN AUSTIN!!  They will all three perform at the 25th Annual...
  • Posted on Thu Oct 3, 2013
     POSTPONED - Due to inclement weather, the Elisabet Ney Museum has postponed The Polkapocalypse to a later date. The festival was scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 23 from noon to 5 p.m. Despite the warm hearts and bright smiles that an outdoor Polka festival would create, Saturday’s forecasted high of 45 with a 40% chance of rain simply was too daunting to overcome. A new date will be...
  • Posted on Mon Jul 29, 2013
    2013 Big Squeeze Winner Michael Ramos jams with Los Hometown Boys at the 2013 Accordion Kings & Queens concert in Houston, Texas.
  • Posted on Thu May 2, 2013
    In collaboration with a team of youth reporters at Texas Folklife‘s summer radio workshop “Stories from Deep in the Heart,” KUTX produced a story chronicling some of the Garza/Torres family’s adventures and exploring the ways the conjunto tradition has been handed down from parents to children. AISD students Arlette Flores, Jennifer Gonzalez, Roberto Hernandez, and Steven Ugalde took the lead on...
  • Posted on Tue Apr 30, 2013
    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...
  • Posted on Thu Apr 7, 2011
    David Lee Garza is a legendary GRAMMY Award winning accordionist of traditional Texas music.  Also following a family tradition, Garza’s musician father Tony first formed the band with his sons David Lee and Adam in 1968 as David Lee Garza y Su Conjunto, later adding son Richard on bass.  Their debut recording, under the same name, was released in 1972.  Their first recording as...
  • Posted on Fri Nov 5, 2010
    Keyun took the top prize at Texas Folklife’s 21st annual Accordion Kings & Queens concert at the Miller Outdoor Theatre in Houston on June 5, 2010.  With the title he received a new Hohner accordion, recording time at SugarHill Recording Studios and $1,000 cash, as well as promotional support from Hohner, SugarHill and Texas Folklife. Before the finals, Keyun had expressed how happy he...
  • Posted on Wed May 5, 2010
    Squeezebox sounds filled the air in downtown Austin, a few blocks from the state Capitol at The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum on Saturday May 1st.  Over 660 attendees enjoyed the music of seven talented young accordionists from throughout the state, proving that Texas traditional music is alive and well. The contestants performed Tejano and Zydeco to the delight of the audience,...
  • Posted on Fri Mar 5, 2010
    Texas Folklife is pleased to announce the names of the eight squeeze-boxers who will advance to the semifinal stage in the fourth annual Big Squeeze contest: Peter Anzaldua, 13, from Brownsville; Gloria Jean Cantu, 17, from San Benito; Keyun Dickson, 18, from Houston; Roger Guerra, 17, from Mission; Ignacio Isai Morales, 14, from Dallas; Ruben Paul Moreno, 20, from Houston; Christina Valdez, 11,...
  • Posted on Thu Jan 1, 2009
    January 2009 When fifteen year old Austin High School freshman Anthony Ortiz, Jr. grabbed the stage at the Mexican American Cultural Center during “The Big Squeeze” semi-finals last May, he represented the talented Ortiz family. Anthony’s grandfather, Guadalupe “Lupe” Ortiz, of Shorty and the Corvettes was there, as was Anthony’s dad, Anthony, Sr., who plays guitarron. His great grandfather, a...

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