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Conjunto, Tejano museum curator aims to preserve unique culture

Conjunto, Tejano museum curator aims to preserve unique culture

Isaac Garcia Valley Town Crier - Reporter isaac@valleytowncrier.com

At the age of 83, Rodriguez is a walking encyclopedia for Tejano, Conjunto, Country and Jazz music. But his heart lies with Conjunto and Tejano music.

His reasoning is simple: to preserve the vanishing legacy and culture he grew up with.

Rodriguez' love for this culture is clear the moment any visiting patron walks into Hub City Conjunto/Tejano Museum located on 207 W. Newcombe Ave.

In his cozy space, Rodriguez has managed to fill just about every space with Conjunto and Tejano history.

Rodriguez' passion is seen by anyone that holds a conversation with him about the lush history withing the Conjunto/Tejano community.

One person that was deeply moved by his passion was Rocio Mata, CEO of The Pharr Literacy Project. Mata freed up the cozy space where Rodriguez' museum sits today.

“Having grown up in California I never knew anything about Conjunto/Tejano [music],” Mata said. “[But] after meeting Roy and seeing his passion and dedication in preserving the Conjunto/Tejano history, it inspired me and motivated me to help him in any way I could.”

From one-of-a-kind accordions, guitars, pianos, records, 8-tracks, posters, saxophones and trumpets. If it's related to the genre of music, Rodriguez has it in his museum or knows all about the subject.

Almost everything adorned in the museum was donated by Conjunto and Tejano legends. One really has to visit the museum to fully grasp just how much history is found within the tiny space.

Rodriguez charges a $3 donation per museum visit. He is hoping his museum catches the eye of interested individuals in his goal to raise funds and provide music lessons for children.

He said his love for music started at a young age, when his mother would take him to Conjunto dances and the two would dance around to the sweet tunes of his heritage. He added that it wasn't until his teenage years when he started making friends, such as Conjunto legends like Beto Villa during the 1950s and 1960s.

“Many of the artists depicted in the museum are now long gone, but they are still alive,” Rodriguez said. “They live through their photos, instruments and music and most importantly through the memories they have engrained in all of the Conjunto and Tejano lovers with their artistry.”

Persons interested in visiting Hub City Conjunto/Tejano Museum may visit Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m..



 

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