Juan Miguel Ramos

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On almost any Friday night in 2006, one could have taken in one of the most underappreciated live-music experiences available to us in San Antonio. Salúte International Bar on North St. Mary’s Street regularly hosts Esteban Jordan and his brand of jazzy Tex-Mex. Jordan, the master of the diatonic accordion and many other instruments, sings lead vocals on his own innovative songs and rearranged standards.

He is a must-see for any visitor to SA. I first saw him perform at Salúte more than a decade ago and over the years I’ve gone there about a hundred times. He has often had local veterans backing him, such as Pete Garza and Richard Soliz of the Latin Breed. In the ’90s, my roommate and I lived down the street on Craig and we were there pretty much every weekend. Once, after many Bohemias, he knelt down in front of the short stage so he could hear the accordion directly, instead of through the PA speakers. We were so inspired by Jordan’s virtuosity and genre-bending originality that we started our own band, Sexto Sol (with Eddie Hernandez), melding musical styles with a regionalistic flair.

This past year I’ve most-often seen him perform with his sons Richard on bass and Steve on guitar and percussion. Both of them help out with harmonizing backup vocals. Also, you must catch him with prodigy Juanito Castillo on drums. With this much talent on stage, it’s a shame he doesn’t sell out each show.


Juan Miguel Ramos is the drummer for Latin-soul group Sexto Sol.