Tejano music icon and mulitple Grammy winner Jimmy Gonzalez passed away on June 6 at the age of 67.
His untimely passing was a shock to the Tejano music industry, including Freddie Martinez, Sr., the founder of legendary record label Freddie Records. Gonzalez was a part of the Freddie Records family of artists since 1999 and Martinez released a statement on Friday, June 8 about the huge loss of the Tejano music icon.
Read the full statement from Freddie Records founder, Freddie Martinez Sr., on the untimely passing of Jimmy Gonzalez:
I’m extremely saddened at the untimely loss of a true music legend, pioneer, and Tejano icon, Jimmy Gonzalez. For nearly 40 years, Jimmy’s name has been synonymous with Tejano music. He’s been recognized as one of the greatest music producers ever of the genre. Over the past 20 years, I had the honor and privilege of working side by side with Jimmy in the studio as a co-producer, executive producer, and songwriter for many of his recordings. I was very fortunate to witness firsthand Jimmy’s passion for creativity in the studio. He was a true musician’s musician who always took great pride in putting together the absolute best production possible. He was a perfectionist who cared about delivering great music and living up to his fans’ expectations. His fans meant everything to him.
I have so many great memories of working with Jimmy. In 2004, I wrote a song for Jimmy called “Corazón Dormido”. I gave him a demo to listen to while he was in the studio at the time working on his PARA MI GENTE album. He loved the song and immediately went to work putting together an arrangement with the classic Mazz sound. When he was finished, the song sounded beautiful. Jimmy had stayed true to the original melody of the song but had sprinkled that Jimmy G magic that we all came to know and love. The song became a big hit for Jimmy that year and went on to win several awards. The following year, I presented another song to Jimmy called “Corazón De Fierro”. Again, Jimmy produced a fantastic arrangement for it and released it on his album, MEJOR QUE NUNCA. In my opinion, Jimmy recorded one of his finest vocal performances ever on that song. He and the band filmed a music video for it and the song went on to become another big hit for Grupo Mazz.
In 2006, the original Grupo Mazz decided to reunite for a tour and a live album. Around that time, I’d been working on a new song called “A Las Escondidas”. When it was decided that they were going to record some new songs together, I presented this song to Jimmy. Without hesitation, he immediately went to work on it. Jimmy had a vision of how he wanted to produce the song and how it should sound. When he was finished, everyone in the studio was amazed. We all knew we had a hit. Again, Jimmy took the melody and lyrics that I had written and created an unbelievably beautiful arrangement. “A Las Escondidas” became the first single from the MAZZ LIVE REUNION album and went on to win the Latin Grammy for Best Regional Mexican Song in 2008. I was extremely proud to share that honor with Jimmy Gonzalez.
In more recent years, Jimmy had donated his time and talent and assisted me by being a featured performer at the annual Spirit Of Hope Christmas Concert for Most Precious Blood Church in Corpus Christi. Jimmy was very close to the church and always looked forward to playing for his fans. Throughout the years, he performed numerous times at the SOH concerts and would always stay afterwards to enjoy talking with his fans, signing autographs, taking pictures, and enjoying fellowship.
Jimmy Gonzalez was already an established superstar when he became part of the Freddie Records family of artists in 1999. For years, I’d always admired him as a great musician and the true musical mastermind behind Grupo Mazz’s success. We were all very proud when Jimmy joined the label and even prouder of all the accomplishments and accolades Jimmy achieved while with us. There will never be another musical genius quite like Jimmy Gonzalez. His legacy will continue to live on through the beautiful music he created and blessed us with. I’m proud to have been able to call Jimmy my friend. I’m sure he’s now in heaven producing the most beautiful music of all. I love you and I’ll miss you. God bless you Jimmy.
Your friend, Freddie Martinez, Sr.
Funeral services for Gonzalez have been set for June 11 – 12. Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Monday, June 11, 2018 at the Brownsville Event Center, 1 Event Circle. The Funeral Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 1914 Barnard Road in Brownsville, Texas. Committal services will follow at Buena Vista Burial Park.