Monday Music: Accordion Kings and Queens LIVE!

Accordion Jam with Mingo Saldivar, Flaco Jimenez, David Farias, Peter Anzaldua.

Accordion Jam with Mingo Saldivar, Flaco Jimenez, David Farias, Peter Anzaldua.

Texas Folklife recently released Accordion Kings and Queens LIVE!, an energetic mixture of sounds both traditional and innovative.

Recorded live at the annual Kings and Queens of Accordion showcase, this cd features a wide array of musical styles and showcases the talents of multiple Texas tradition bearers.

Producer Sarah Rucker took the time to answer a few questions about the the new release for this week’s Monday Music piece. Check out a few of the tracks and read more from Sarah below!

1.Who all can listeners expect to hear on this cd?

This is an action packed compilation with Los Texmaniacs, Mingo Saldivar, Flaco Jimenez, Dora & Her Zydeco Entourage, and the Ennis Czech Boys. It also includes participants of Texas Folklife’s Big Squeeze contest: 2012 finalists Michael Ramos, Luis Gonzalez, Omar Garza, Peter Anzaldua and 2011 Champion Nachito Morales.

2. This cd features live recordings, so where exactly did these recordings take place?
The songs you hear are from our annual concert Accordion Kings & Queens which takes place in Houston Texas at the Miller Outdoor Theatre. It was recorded live and on-site at the 2012 show on June 2, 2012 by engineers of SugarHill Recording Studios, the oldest continually running studio in the country.

3. How were the groups chosen?
Accordion Kings & Queens celebrates the cultural diversity of our state through a night of straight-ahead traditional music so Texas Folklife searches the Texas area year-round for groups with high artistic merit that represent different genres of local accordion music.


4. What genres of accordion music does it showcase?
There are a variety of accordion-based genres native to Texas on this CD including conjunto, zydeco, and polka. You’ll also hear some blending of Tejano and Norteño on some of the conjunto tracks and a dash of rock and blues in the zydeco.

5. What are your favorite tracks and why?
That’s a tricky question because I love all of these groups but I have to say one of my favorite songs is a bonus track entitled Accordion Jam. This track includes Grammy Award Winner Flaco Jimenez with Los Texmaniacs and Mingo Saldivar trading solos with that year’s contest winner Peter Anzaldua. This jam proves not only their musical virtuosity on the accordion but their willingness to share the stage with an up and coming player and is a great example of the passing down of traditions. I’m also partial to Tracks 1-5 which are the finalists of the Big Squeeze contest for young accordion players. All of these players are under the age of 21 and i find their ability to master the accordion and embrace these cultural and artistic traditions at such a young age both remarkable and inspiring.

To get a copy of the CD visit Texas Folklife here. And be sure and check out some of the tracks via their Soundcloud page.

You can read more about the Big Squeeze contest here. 

Want to join us in this series and share your own story for Monday Music ? Click here to contact us. We’d love to hear from you.