Conjunto legend Chencho Flores passed away unexpectedly from complications of COVID-19 on January 10, 2021. The iconic Austin, Texas musician was remembered during a segment of “PBS NewsHour” on March 19. The weekly segment is part of an on-going series celebrating the lives of those lost to the coronavirus.
“Since the 1940s, the sounds of Flores’ accordion have filled the Austin, Texas, air,” said PBS News Hour host Judy Woodruff during the segment. “Chencho played traditional conjunto, a style unique to Texas, with its roots in working-class Mexico. His family told us Chencho was mostly self-taught.”
“His love for music was surpassed only by his love for family,” added Woodruff. “To support them, he spent 37 years driving a cement truck. In his spare time, he loved gardening and fishing, and passing on his musical talents to younger generations. Chencho was 91.”
Flores began an eight-decade career playing guitar alongside Manuel “Cowboy” Donley, who died June 28, 2020, and Domingo Villarreal in the trio Conjunto Cielito Lindo, according to the Austin Chronicle.
In 2015, Flores was inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame with Conjunto Los Pinkys and the Tejano R.O.O.T.S. Hall of Fame with Chencho Flores y Su Conjunto in 2020.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by the Flores family to help pay for funeral expenses.
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