27TH ANNUAL CONJUNTO FESTIVAL COMMITTEE
Top Row (L-R): Juan Lugo, Dr. Ramon De Leon, Rogelio T. Núñez, Basilio “Chilo” Garcia
Bottom Row (L-R): Yolanda Lopez, Blanca Davis, Soledad Núñez, Cosme Serda
Welcome to the 27th Annual Conjunto Festival
After a successful 26th Annual Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center Conjunto Festival in the city of Los Fresnos, Texas, we welcome you to our 27th Annual Conjunto Festival. The 27th is just as important as the first festival because through a lot of hard work and dedication we have been able to sustain an event that is only one of two Conjunto Festivals in the nation. The other Conjunto Festival is the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Festival in San Antonio who in May 2019, celebrated their 38th Annual Festival.
Sustainability of our organization and our cultural programming has its difficulties but what makes our work important is the fact that The NMCAC cultural programming and Conjunto Music have a solid foundation and its roots run deep in “la tierra de la Frontera.”
We closed December 2018, with an excellent presentation by Juan and Armando Tejeda and their CD Raices XicanX. We have been busy in 2019 with our 3rd Thursday Conjunto Nights in the Historic La Villita Dance Hall in San Benito, Texas. Frutty Villareal and I teamed up with BC Workshop and other organizations to produce a CD Sonido Del Agua which are corridos from the victims of flooding of two colonias in Hidalgo, Texas. In February 2019, the NMCAC presented Viet Nam veterans Beto Conde, Memories in Green and Al Garcia, Where the Mesquite Tree Grows who presented stories from their books.
The Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center was invited this summer to participate in a two day screening of Chulas Fronteras (1976) which has now been remastered and showing throughout the U.S. Chulas Fronteras is one the best documentaries of Conjunto Music on “both” sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. We partnered with Cine El Rey in McAllen, Texas and after each screening we featured live Conjunto Music with Epi Martinez and Friends and Ramiro Cavazos of Los Donnenos. The work of Epi is based on the roots music of his parents, Epifanio and Cruz Martinez who were a prominent Conjunto in the Rio Grande Valley. More specifically, Epi is from the Delta Area (Edcouch-Elsa) which in itself is a cradle for Conjunto Music with musicians like the late Benny Layton, Ruben De La Cruz, Los Badd Boys, Los Delta Boys, and many others.
The second night of the screening of Chulas Fronteras featured the music of Don Ramiro Cavazos accompanied by his grandson Allan Cavazos. Ramiro, who at 92 years of age, is fortunate to belong to two important cradles of music, first he was born in Garza Ayala, Ayala Nuevo Leon not far from General Teran, Nuevo Leon home of the famous Los Alegres De Teran who through their music and others form a critical part of another major “cradle” of Conjunto Norteno and he settled in Donna, Texas, to form Los Donnenos in the musical cradle of Conjunto music in the Rio Grande Valley.
As you read about the immigration crisis on the border, when we look at Conjunto Music we must remember that Conjunto greats like Narciso Martinez, Pedro Ayala, Ramiro Cavazos and Mario Montez of Los Donnenos were immigrants who came to the U.S. in the early 20th century. Just think if the families of these musicians had not migrated to the U.S., what would have been the history of Conjunto music on the U.S side of the border.
The Narciso Martinez Cultural extends a heart-felt thank you to the City of Los Fresnos, The Community Development Corporation, and the Chamber of Commerce for supporting our Conjunto Festival. We also are grateful to our loyal fan base who have supported the work of the Center since its inception on October 29, 1991.
Rogelio T. Núñez
P. O. Box 471, San Benito, Texas 78586
© 2018 Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center. All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 471, San Benito, Texas 78586
© 2018 Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center.
All rights reserved.