Housed in a new location, The Texas Conjunto Music Hall of Fame & Museum is part of the Museums of San Benito, the birthplace of conjunto music. The museum works to promote, preserve, archive, document, and display the history of regional conjunto music by honoring those who create it. Detailed information on the instruments used in conjunto music, their cultural origins, and stories of San Benito’s legendary music institutions such as “La Villita” dance hall and the Rio Grande Music Company, home of Ideal Records, are among the featured exhibits. Within our 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).As representatives of what has been called “working man’s music”, our premier conjunto personalities, and their spirits, live on in the Rio Grande Valley of deep South Texas at the Texas Conjunto Music Hall of Fame & Museum. The Museum also highlights the life and career of the Grammy-Award winning Mexican-American rocker and San Benito native born as Baldemar Huerta.
This museum chronicles the evolution of Conjunto, an early form of Tejano or “Tex-Mex” music. European, Mexican and American music merged in the early 1900s as working-class musicians on both sides of the border played the accordion and the bajo sexto (12-string guitar) in a style dubbed Conjunto (Spanish for “group”). Players such as Narciso Martinez, Santiago Almeida, Santiago Jimenez, Sr. and Valerio Longoria made the music popular across South Texas and beyond.
More information may be found on our Hispanic heritage page at the following link: http://texastimetravel.com/travel-themes/main-hispanic-heritage