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Houston man works to keep Tejano music tradition alive

Houston man works to keep Tejano music tradition alive

by KHOU.com staff

Vicente Arenas / KHOU 11 News

Posted on June 5, 2013 at 12:03 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 5 at 12:20 AM

More than 7,000 people attended a recent concert in Humble, much more than expected.

Fans believe the music is going through a revival of sorts and the next big Tejano star could be from right here.

Rico Gonzalez, a local home appraiser, teaches kids to play instruments used in Tejano music.

The youngest student in Rigo’s school is 8-year-old Ricky Casarez.  

The early style of Tejano was wildly popular in Houston  until the mid 90s.

It was during that time that Tejano went off the radio airwaves in Houston. Artists just couldn’t sell the music, all because of a lack of star power.

Selena’s death left a gaping hole in Tejano music and since then, things have never been the same.

Fans, though, are hardcore and refuse to let it go. 

“The music—the musicians—we are still here. It’s the support mechanisms that are not there anymore, but things are changing now,” said Jesse “Jumpin Jess” Rodriguez, a Tejano expert.

The interest in the music is growing.

The demand for classes is so high at Gonzalez’s music school that he’s had to move into a larger building.

There is something about the music that the teenagers can’t get enough of.

“If you take the accordion away it’s not the same—like the accordion makes Tejano music for me,” said Cesar Garza, a musician.

There are very few schools that teach Tejano music.

Gonzalez hopes to keep it alive.

“I take it as a responsibility really to pass it on to the next generation,” he said.

 

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