It may seem like a benign occupation — to organize a music festival — but Juan Tejeda (who is the lead faculty member for the Mexican-American studies program at Palo Alto College) has been hard at work fighting for, not only the proliferation of the people's music in la frontera
, but also for the education, unity and fellowship that comes with it. As a professor at Palo Alto, as a musician and as the central figure behind the annual Tejano Conjunto Festival, now in its 35th year and still going strong, Tejeda has been entrenched in la lucha
, the struggle. He has been advocating for the teaching and sharing of this culturally significant world music, which was born right here, in our backyard, pulling its influences from Texas and Mexico's shared ancestries, since the first festival in 1980. Highlights from this year’s lineup include Los Clavos del Wesso, The Hometown Boys, Los García Bros. and Jaime y Los Chamacos (Friday); Conjunto Student Showcase, Conjunto Deltaboyz, Los Badd Boyz del Valle, Lázaro Pérez y su Conjunto, Los Fantasmas del Valle and Boni Mauricio y Los Máximos (Saturday); and Eva Ybarra y su Conjunto, Dwayne Verheyden, Los Texmaniacs de Max Baca, Flaco Jiménez y su Conjunto, Ricky Naranjo y Los Gamblers and Roberto Pulido y Los Clásicos (Sunday). Click here
for our Q&A with Tejeda and here
for our festival picks.