2017 Hall of Fame
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As part of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center’s 36th Annual Tejano Conjunto Festival, the Conjunto Music Hall of Fame honored veterans, legends, and supporters of this South Texas music genre. Honorees are working musicians and two posthumous awards were presented to their families during a ticketed reception and dance at the Guadalupe Theater on Thursday, May 25, 2017. The evening included a reception, the induction of New Hall of Fame Honorees followed by a performance by Bene Medina y el Conjunto Aguila with special guests Oscar Hernandez, Nick Villarreal, and Eddie “Lalo” Torres.
The 2017 honorees are:
Born in 1927, Cavazos formed part of the musical group Los Donneños out of Donna, Texas. Best known for playing bajo sexto, he has worked in music recording for Discos Falcon, Discos del Valle, Discos Torero, and Columbia Records (aka CBS Records) in Mexico for 17 years. He appeared in films with Lalo “El Piporro” Gonzalez and toured together all over the US, Venezuela, and Cuba. Cavazos appear on the silver screen in the great Les Blank and Chris Strachwitz documentary “Chulas Fronteras” (1976). This iconic documentary on conjunto and norteño music features Cavazos and Conjunto Tamaulipas opening up the film with a great interpretation of Canción mixteca. Cavazos is later featured once again in the film with conjunto pioneer Narciso Martinez. In 1972 he started his own record label called Discos RyN which recorded many artists like Ernesto Guerra, Narciso Martinez, Conjunto Tamaulipas, Beto Quintanilla, Los Fantasmas and Ruben Vela.
Ruby Ramirez Franco
Ruby Ramirez Franco of Robstown, Texas, was known in the community as a Registered Nurse who became a nursing consultant, entrepreneur and advocate for the elderly. Her love of music began at a young age while listening to her parent’s music. She pursued her love of music when she became owner of GCI Adult Day Care where she often sang to her clients at their weekly dance. She invited Chano Cadena to play for the agency and eventually joined Chano Cadena y Su Conjunto. Ruby went on to record several CD’s and enjoyed a great following. She loved singing at venues all over South Texas. Ruby passed away on August 24, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas.
Antonio Garza, David Lee Garza and Family
Tony, David Lee, Adam & Richard Garza
Antonio “Tony” Ambriz Garza launched the musical careers of his three sons, David Lee, Adam and Richard Garza. The Poteet resident led his own group, Tony Garza y Su Conjunto, for 12 years and taught his sons the instruments that led to their success. Eventually he formed a new group with his sons, David Lee Garza y Los Musicales. David Lee Garza y Los Musicales has recorded more than 25 albums, according to Billboard magazine, and had seven top 10 titles on the regional Mexican albums chart between 1990 and 2002. Tony Garza passed away on March 27, 2011 in San Antonio, Texas. David Lee Garza has gone on to win a Latin Grammy Award, and the band has won numerous Tejano Music Awards. The band has been nominated for Grammys and Latin Grammys multiple times. The Musicales are truly a family dynasty: David handles the accordion and 2nd vocals; his brother Richard, plays bass guitar; brother Adam handles the drums. With over 30 recorded albums 2 major labels and now their own independent record label DLG Records as part of their legendary discography. The band has been the only Tejano group to have spun off several benchmark careers for some of the most talented and influential vocalists/artists in the industry today — Ramiro “Ram” Herrera, Emilio Navaira, Oscar G, Jay Perez, Marcos Orozco, Mark Ledesma and Ben Ozuna.
Ramon “Rabbit” Sanchez
also known as “Jack Rabbit” or “el conejo”
Rabbit has played with some of the top conjuntos of the Southwest for the past 54 years whose music repertoire includes conjunto, country, tejano, rock and roll, blues, and cajun. A native of Corpus Christi, Texas, he began studying bajo sexto and guitar with his father when he was 9, and first performed at 14 with Conjunto La Estrellita. He made his professional debut at 16 with Cruz Torres y su Conjunto. Since then he has performed with major conjuntos throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada. These include Flaco Jimenez, Santiago Jimenez Jr., Mingo Saldivar, Angel Flores, Linda Escobar, Mickey Mendoza, Los Pavos Reales, Los Torbellinos del Norte, Roberto Ruiz, Agapito Zuniga, and many more. He has recorded with these and many others. He performed at President Clinton’s inauguration and was the first to play the bajo sexto at Carnegie Hall, New York (1994). He received a Grammy nomination for his 2002 recording with Mingo Saldivar, featuring Blue Moon of Kentucky and Mexi-Cajun Cumbia. He released his own CD, Ramon “Rabbit” Sanchez, in 2007. In January of 2013, he was selected as a member of the Tejano Roots Hall of Fame. His latest project is Old School Polkas del Ghost Town and Other Conjunto Music of South Texas, with Lorenzo Martinez, released in 2017 by Spring Fed Record. He has taught bajo sexto, both under the auspices of the Texas Folklife Resources (Austin, Texas) as a master artist and on his own in an effort to continue the traditional music of the conjunto and to pass on his unique style and innovations.