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NARCISO MARTINEZ

Narciso Martínez holds a privileged position in the development of the epic tejano style of accordion music known as conjunto. Dubbed early on El Huracan del Valle ("The Hurricane from the [Rio Grande] Valley"), he is considered the "father" of this culturally powerful tradition. Although other tejano accordionists preceded him in the commercial market, Martínez launched a unique style when he adopted a technique concentrating almost entirely on the treble, melodic end of the button accordion. Martínez began neglecting the left-hand bass/harmony buttons, leaving the bass and chordal accompaniment to his bajo sexto player, Santiago Almeida. The bajo sexto, a type of twelve-string bass guitar, had formed a pair with the accordion for many years, but the Martínez-Almeida duo charted a new course for the Texas-Mexican conjunto, particularly redefining the style of the quintessential conjunto genre, the polka. Martínez cut his first record in 1936, for the Bluebird label. Born in Matamoros in 1911, across the river from the city of Brownsville, Texas, Martínez was musically active for over 60 years, during which time he recorded for both large American labels and regional ones like Ideal. A recipient of the National Heritage Award for his contributions to one of America's important ethnic traditions, he died in 1992.

Courtesy of palmpictures.com

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