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A true conjunto band needs to include the button accordion.
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The festival is in keeping with the center’s dedication to the preservation, promotion and development of the rich, cultural heritage of the Mexican American community in the visual arts, music, theater, dance and literary works.
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Palmview’s High School Conjunto La Tradicíon is scheduled to play at the festival.
Conjunto bands are an essential South Texas treat. According to Soledad A. Nunez of the Narciso Martinez Cultural Art Center in San Benito, a true conjunto band needs to include the button accordion and the bajo sexto. The bajo sexto is a Mexican stringed instrument made up of 12 strings and 6 double courses. The band itself is composed of 4 main instruments -- the two aforementioned plus an electric bass and drums.
On Oct. 21-23, the center will host its 25th annual Conjunto Festival. The event will feature more than 15 bands, including Palmview’s High School Conjunto La Tradicíon, Flavio Longoria y Los Conjunto Kingz, and Los Monarcas. Nunez states that the festival is in keeping with the center’s dedication to the preservation, promotion and development of the rich, cultural heritage of the Mexican American community in the visual arts, music, theater, dance and literary works.
The festival is of special importance to the center as its namesake, Narciso Martinez, is credited with the development of a new style of accordion-driven music and is thus considered the “Father of the Texas Mexican Conjunto.” Martinez was also a recipient of the National Heritage Award from the National Endowment of the Humanities in Washington, D.C., in 1983.
Because of the importance of this type of music, the center hosts conjunto bands the third Thursday of every month. Those bands include Epi Martinez, accompanied by Noel Hernandez and Willie Contreras and Los Angeles del Sur.
Other October events at the center include an exhibit of image of valor called Tardeada: U.S. Latinos and Latinas in World War Tour in collaboration with Victor Garza on Oct. 9; Oct. 15 will feature a poetry reading and book signing event of Edward Vidaurre’s new book “Chicano Blood Transfusion” (2016) as the closing event of the Hispanic Heritage Month.
For more information on the center or the festival, contact Soledad A. Nunez at 956.244.0373or email@example.com. For vendor information contact Yolanda Lopez at 956.571.3325. The Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center is located at 225 E Stenger St, San Benito, Texas.