Conjunto, Tejano Music Thrive In San Antonio
Tejano and conjunto are the soundtrack of San Antonio. Songs in these genres tell stories of every day life and a rich cultural history in South Texas.
The Spanish word "conjunto" is definitive musical style, but can also refer to the group of performers. (For example: Eva Ybarra y Su Conjunto.)
Well known for a jamming accordion and the strings of a bajo sexto, conjunto music also typically includes bass, drums and vocals.
Drawing from popular dances from the era – cumbias and European influences like the polka – the genre emerged in the late 1800s from the cantinas and backyards of South Texas.
Conjunto started a modern renaissance in the 1920s, which influenced what we know now as Tejano music with more instrumentation and modern influences.
Today's San Antonio musicians often blend traditional conjunto and Tejano with other genres, including punk and hip hop.
What do these styles of music mean to the cultural backdrop of San Antonio? What lasting impact does conjunto have on Tejano and South Texas culture?
The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center is hosting the annual Tejano Conjunto Festival from May 16 to 20, 2018. Click here for more information.
- Juan Tejeda, founder of the Tejano Conjunto Festival
- Cristina Ballí, executive director of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center
- Hector Saldana, Texas music curator for The Wittliff Collections at Texas State University, former senior staff entertainment writer & music columnist for the San Antonio Express-News
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