Friday, July 26, 2013

RGV Tejanofest

Five months ago, Manny and Rick Tamez took over the Horseman's Bar and Grill in Weslaco. The aesthetics of the venue is what initially caught their eye.

"It's different, the look, it's a saloon that's all made out of wood," said Manny Tamez. "So it wasn't your typical building."

Located on the outskirts of Weslaco, on the corner of Mile 6 W and Mile 12 N, the old-fashion establishment features several outdoor pieces — a dance floor, a bar and a stage. When the music is lively, the octagon-shaped, wooden dance floor fills up with couples dancing in a circular motion.

Manny is excited about this Saturday night, it's going to be something of a sequel to last May's Conjuntofest 2013. When I asked him why he's been bringing in so many Tejano and conjunto musicians to his venue, Manny replied, "It's in the blood man, it's in the blood."

Titled Tejanofest 2013, this festival is going to be a bit different than the one that preceded it.

"If you go back to Conjuntofest, it was more Texas conjunto. (A lot of bands were) based out of Dallas, Houston, Corpus. This one, when I got (together) with Frankie Jr., (we decided) to keep it local. There is a lot of talent in the Valley."

The goal was to shine the spotlight on the new native talent. Manny feels it's important to promote the new, younger faces of Tejano music. By doing this, he's investing in the future of a genre he adores.

Two musicians that Manny loves to point to as bright spots in the new wave are Frankie Caballero Jr. of Grupo Caballero and Javier Hinojosa of Texas Legend.

Both these musicians will be performing on this extravaganza. Other artists include Grupo Rikeza, La Calle 17, Los Delta Boyz, Tejano Fusion and Genesis Keren Nava.

Frankie Jr. had a hand in putting together this line-up. The son of the legendary Frankie Caballero Sr., he's come a long way in establishing himself as one of the brightest prospects in Tejano music.

"It's a fresh, new raw style of Tejano," said Frankie Jr., vocalist, of his style. "We are trying to modernize Tejano a little bit."

Frankie Jr.'s father has worked as an accordionist for major acts like Grupo Mazz, Bobby Pulido, Jay Perez and Los Chachos de Chacha Jimenez.

"My father has been the biggest influence," Frankie Jr. said. "He's the one that introduced me as a child to music."

Javier Hinojosa, the Tejano Music Award winner for Best New Male Artist in 2011, likes to describe his style as a hybrid of Tejano and conjunto music. He also says we might get a taste of country music on Saturday night.

"I would just like to invite all the fans to come over and enjoy the night of Tejano music," said Javier Hinojosa, vocalist. "I wish we had more of these events like this going on in the Valley."

As for Genesis Keren Nava, Manny says that he first saw a video of her on Facebook. Deeply impressed, he got in contact with Nava's father and had her perform for his parents 50th year wedding anniversary. Shortly after that, Nava's popularity exploded after an appearance on NBC's "America's Got Talent". Manny is proud to feature her in a special guest role tomorrow night.

"Beautiful little girl, beautiful little voice, tremendous talent," Manny said. "The more we can do to expose her, the better."

RGV Tejanofest 2013 will take place on Saturday, from 5:30 PM to 2:00 AM. Lawn chairs are welcomed and recommended. The cover charge will be $10.00 at the door. For more information, please call 956-463-7223 or visit

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