SAN BENITO, TX — After months of anticipation, the grand re-opening of the renowned Texas Conjunto Hall of Fame is set for February 18, 2023. Located in San Benito, Texas, the museum is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the legacy of Conjunto music and its creators. The public is invited to celebrate this momentous occasion and remember the impact made by this genre.
Within the exhibit space are the accordions of conjunto pioneers: Narciso Martínez, Pedro Ayala, Ricardo Guzmán, Enrique Vela, Mario Montes, and Gilberto Pérez. Also on display is an old bajo sexto donated by Ramiro Cavazos, a leather jacket on loan from the family of Mario Montes, a suit and pair of shoes donated by the family of Ruben Vela, a set of drums donated by Higinio Guzman, and an electric Fender bass on loan from Hector Barron of Los Fantasmas Del Valle.
One exhibit is dedicated to accordionist Narciso Martínez and bajo sexto player Santiago Almeida, considered the “Fathers” of regional conjunto music. Ethnomusicologists credit them with fusing European accordion rhythms with Mexican roots musica ranchera (ranch music). Additional donations, artifacts, and memorabilia donated by artists and families such as the family of Ruben Vela, Bobby Pulido, Gilberto Perez Sr, Eva Ybarra, Salome Martinez, Linda Escobar, The Rio Grande Music Company, Ideal Records, The Arhoolie Foundation, McCoy’s Building Supply, and so many more.
The Texas Conjunto Hall of Fame and Museum is gearing up for its grand re-opening and the community has been very generous in helping to make it a success. Volunteers from the area have been working hard to renovate different rooms inside the museum, from painting and repairs to the installation of new furniture. Families of late conjunto music legends have also donated musical instruments and artifacts to be put on display. Thanks to these efforts, visitors will be able to experience the history and culture of this beloved music style in an immersive way. With just a couple of weeks before opening, volunteers are still needed to put the finishing touches on everything. In addition to volunteering, the Texas Conjunto Hall of Fame and Museum is accepting monetary donations, as well as water or soft drink donations for the labor volunteers. Any amount is appreciated, but a $10 donation will get you a membership. If you’re interested in donating or volunteering, please contact Peter Avila at (956) 241-1114.
The museum is set to open on February 18, 2023, at 3:30pm with food, music, and history, followed by a dance with music by Rodney Rodriguez y Los Cucuys at the legendary La Villita Dance Hall. The address to the museum is 402 W. Robertson Street, San Benito, TX 78586.
Cover photo: Facebook/Ray Quiroga. Photos below courtesy of Facebook/Peter Avila, VP.
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