. That's how Joel Settles remembers feeling after seeing Eva Ybarra perform in October of 2012. At that time, Settles was working as theater arts director at SAY Sí and had booked Ybarra to perform at the nonprofit's annual Muertitos Fest. After the show, Settles pitched a music video concept to Ybarra, who upped the ante by asking: "Why don't you make a movie about my life?" In a series of meetings that followed, the pair dove into an oral history project covering the highs and lows of Ybarra's career, which has included multiple record deals, festival appearances, a teaching gig at the University of Washington and performances that run the gamut from early gigs in Texas dance halls to a New York Times
-covered collaboration with the progressive string quartet Ethel in 2008. Although a biopic is still on the table, the duo's endeavor is first taking shape in La Reina del Acordeón
— a stage production exploring Ybarra's successes and setbacks via theatrical vignettes, film clips and musical interludes performed by none other than Eva Ybarra y Su Conjunto. Click here
to read the San Antonio Current
's Q&A with Ybarra and Settles.