San Antonio Symphony To Honor Emilio Navaira | Texas Public Radio

San Antonio Symphony To Honor Emilio Navaira

Jan 18, 2019

The San Antonio Symphony will soon do a show honoring one of the masters — but not one of the European ones. It’s a tribute to a local master, Emilio Navaira, and his son Diego Navaira thinks it’s a little strange.

"Well, it's strange in a beautiful way because we're celebrating my dad's life, and his music with the symphony,” he said. “So it's really kinda epic."

Emilio Navaira was a Tejano music superstar and country singer, who died two years ago.


What: Emilio Navaira Tribute Concert

Where: Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

When: 8 p.m., Jan. 31

Cost:  $10-$81

His other son Emilio Navaira Jr. said that the symphony performing his father’s music is not actually precedent-setting.

"He did it twice with the San Antonio Symphony, and I think he did Dallas and Houston, too," he said.

Diego said his father had hoped for another concert with the orchestra.

"He always talked about wanting to do a show with the symphony again. So it's cool that we're kind of getting to do it for him," he said.

Diego and Emilio Navaira IV
Credit Jack Morgan

Emilio said he and brother will be performing with their father’s original band from the 1990s.

“Diego's going to be singing. I'll be playing guitar and singing background," Emilio said.

Youth Orchestras of San Antonio's Troy Peters asked the brothers if they would do the tribute concert, and they quickly agreed. Peters and Diego spent several days deciding which songs to perform, and Peters has been scoring the music for the symphony. Diego says there's nothing quite like a live performance  by an orchestra.

"It sorta gives me chills and I almost feel like I want to cry a little bit, you know?” he said. “I think I might have a hard time getting through the set because it's so powerful, and moving. Yeah, this is going to be very, very special."

Jack Morgan can be reached at