Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Susan Torres on Eva Ybarra

I recently had the chance to ask Austin-based accordionist Susan Torres some questions about Eva Ybarra for an upcoming article in this Friday's edition of the Festiva. Due to formatting and the amount of space, I wasn't able to include all of Torres' insight into Eva Ybarra in my piece. The purpose of that article and for these questions is to highlight Eva Ybarra's appearance at UTPA on Friday night and Saturday morning. To learn more about this appearance and NACCS Tejas 2013, be sure to check out Also, make sure to follow Susan Torres on her twitter at want to thank Susan Torres personally for her time and for helping spread conjunto music with her great accordion skills.

Eduardo: How significant of a role has Eva Ybarra been for female accordionists, such as yourself?

Susan: I'm not the most disciplined when it comes to challenging myself to learn new music, and from an accordion players view, it's probably sacrilege that music is not at the top of my list. But when I see Eva play, and the brief conversation that I've had with Eva, in her "being" she encourages me to reach into my soul and express whatever is going on in there...whether, joy, sorrow, melancholy or just having a good time. In her "being" she also encourages me to be tough. When Eva plays, she's got fire in her eyes; she's not playing around when she's playing. She told me once that I would be the next one to carry the "baton" after her. I was honored that she thought of me that way. But I told her, "Eva, I could never do that". She said, "Why not?", I said something to the effect like, "Because you live, breathe, and eat music. And I don't. So I could never carry that baton. It's you, Eva. It's you that has that baton!". I also asked her if she made tamales. And she said, "No, I don't make tamales. I play Accordion!"   As for me...I like playing accordion, but I also make tamales.  

Eduardo: To those that haven't experienced Eva Ybarra performing her music live, what can they expect from the experience?

Susan: To be blown away!    Also, they would experience her child-like and humble being. She's so cute! And she knows that she's talented! I can see that she knows because she prides her self in her playing..."Pride" in a good way..Not that vain way. But even with that knowledge, she's not standoffish around other musicos or around the audience. In fact, I love the way that whenever there's a mistake...vary the end of the song, she tells the audience that it was her fault, and not the bands. How awesome is that?!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent articles on conjunto music. Keep up the great work.
    - J