February 19, 2008

(Let me apologize for the fitful blogging here at Undismayed. I was gone for two weeks and now have my sister visiting for a week, neither of which allows much opportunity to write into the void here

In idle moments I have been wondering if it is time to get my daughter going learning the accordion yet, since she has made the six month turn and is now even eating solid food a bit. Turns out I have 18 more months before it is too late.

The future of conjunto music

Zeth Seven Lara, of San Benito, began playing accordion six years ago at the age of 2. His grandfather Rigo Garza had joined with local conjunto legend Jose Moreno to form Los Patrulleros. Garza played the bajo sexto — a 12-string acoustic bass guitar — while Moreno played the accordion.

In the few years since Zeth first started playing the accordion, musicians across the Rio Grande Valley have served as his tutors, grooming him to carry on the conjunto tradition — though the youngster appears unaware of the torch-passing to which he is party.

The genre originated in Texas and largely in the Rio Grande Valley, Saenz said. But its roots represent a blend of European and Mexican musical styles.

“I keep hearing people say, ‘I don’t like that Mexican music,’” Saenz said. “I really want to stop and say, ‘I don’t like it either. This type of music is not Mexican.’”

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