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Rancho Alegre and Texas Folklife to Present Showcases at Folk Alliance International Conference Feb 24-25

Online performances will include Los Arcos Hermanos Peña, Shelly Lares, Rick Fuentes, Oscar Garcia, Brenda Martinez, Los Morales Boyz and more.

Clockwise from top left: Brenda Martinez, Oscar Garcia, Rick Fuentes, Shelly Lares, Los Morales Boyz, and Los Arcos Hermanos Peña will be showcased in online performances. (Courtesy photos)

Austin-based nonprofit organizations Rancho Alegre and Texas Folklife will present Texas Music showcases during Folk Unlocked, this year’s online edition of the annual Folk Alliance International conference, on Wednesday, February 24 and Thursday, February 25. 

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Thanks to an offer from the Texas Music Office, Rancho Alegre and Texas Folklife will present separate showcases with different perspectives on Tejano and Conjunto music. Rancho Alegre will focus on mature and seasoned performers, while Texas Folklife will spotlight alumni from its popular Big Squeeze statewide youth accordion contest. The online performances will be intimate duets or solos. 

Performing for Rancho Alegre is accordionist Brenda Martinez, bajo sexto master Oscar Garcia, bandleader and producer Rick Fuentes of Brown Express, superstar Shelly Lares, and Conjunto veterans Jerry and Luis Peña of Los Arcos Hermanos Peña. The showcase is from 7pm to 9:30pm central time, Wednesday, February 24.

For its youth-oriented showcase, Texas Folklife will present Cajun music by Donovan Bourque, polka by Mason Nesvadba, zydeco by Keyun Dickson, and Conjunto/Tejano by Los Morales Boyz. The showcase is from 7pm to 9pm CT, Thursday, February 25.

Billed as “the world’s largest gathering of the folk music industry and community,” the annual conference presented by Kansas City-based nonprofit organization Folk Alliance International draws thousands of artists, agents, managers, publishers, labels, festival/venue presenters, promoters, and media from around the world each year. Under normal circumstances, the conference is a week long intensive, in-person experience featuring professional workshops and performances. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, this year, the conference is completely virtual. The Rancho Alegre and Texas Folklife showcases are the only Tejano and conjunto music on the schedule this year. 

These showcases are available for the public to watch online. Viewers can get tickets to not only these showcases, but to all of the virtual performances in all genres in the entire conference for a donation of any amount. Get tickets here

Rancho Alegre is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is dedicated to preserving and promoting conjunto music. Texas Folklife is a statewide 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and presenting the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. Keep up with both of these great organizations and their programs on their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.

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I manage all things technical, administrative, and creative at Austin's own Rancho Alegre, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting Conjunto music. Our projects include digitizing recordings, interviewing legendary and up-and-coming artists, maintaining and constructing a historical record of Tejano and Conjunto music, connecting artists with professional and business services, and presenting the annual Rancho Alegre Conjunto Festival and various events throughout the year. I am a Professional Member of the Recording Academy.

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