Friday, July 25, 2014

Q & A - Jaime De Anda‏

Jaime y Los Chamacos returns to San Benito this Friday night to showcase his moves on the accordion, and on his feet. De Anda, the longtime leader and accordionist of the group, talked to me about his accordion style, his dancing on stage, Johnny Canales, his influences, and what he is currently working on.

Eduardo Martinez: How did you develop your own personal style and adornos?

Jaime De Anda: That takes many years because when I played with Tony De La Rosa, Ruben Naranjo, Los Dos Gilbertos, these guys would tell me, 'Try to make your own style.' Because I was imitating everybody. I started doing it little by little. By dancing, playing, and combining a lot of songs. Making intros to our music, like rock intros at the beginning of our songs. So we were changing up conjunto (music).

Martinez: Your dancing and choreography has always made you stand out, what led you to want to add that to your stage act?

De Anda: Since I was growing up with the music, I loved to dance. I wanted to learn how to dance rancheras, polkas, huapangos. So we thought it would make it interesting on stage instead of just playing and standing there. I thought of it as spicing it up, to dance, and move around. To get kids motivated to watch conjunto (as well).

Martinez: You played "Idalia" a lot early on, were you a big fan of Paulino Bernal?

De Anda: Oh yes, of course. And I hear he is my second cousin, because I hear his name is Paulino De Anda Bernal. (Laughs)

Martinez: (Laughs) That is his name.

De Anda: He once saw me play the "Idalia" polka at the "Pura Vida Awards" with Johnny Canales.

Martinez: How was it like coming out on those Canales shows on TV as a youngster?

De Anda: It was amazing what Johnny Canales did for all the Tejano, norteño, and conjunto musicians. He's gotten people to watch us from across the world, from all over the United States, that didn't know about us. But through TV, he helped us get the exposure we needed. That's what got us recognized all over the United States, across the country, and Mexico.

Martinez: Along with the musicians we've already mentioned, who were some of your other influences?

De Anda: Esteban Jordan, Juan Villarreal y Los Cachorros, Ramon Ayala.

Martinez: There are a lot of young accordionists here in the Valley, do you have any advice for them?

De Anda: Yes, first of all stay in school. Education is number one. Practice the accordion. If you love music, give it your all. Play with feeling, play with your heart. Be dedicated and have respect for the music. Respect your fellow musicians that play in the band with you. They are like your brothers. You become a family on stage. Before you know it, you enter another world when you're on stage.

Martinez: Are you currently working on any project?

De Anda: Right now, yes. We are recording a single called "Alma Enamorada". Second single is supposed to be "Ojitos Negros". We are up in the air with the (record) label so I want to say Chente Barrera (from San Antonio) is the guy we're talking to (about the release).

Martinez: Is there a time table set as to when those two singles are going to be released?

De Anda: I want to say maybe a month or month in a half later (from this week).

Martinez: What can the people in San Benito expect from you y Los Chamacos?

De Anda: Como siempre (As always) our classics. You are going to hear "Yolanda", "Mi Musica Favorita", "X-Novia". A little bit of huapangos. You can expect a lot of music, old school and the latest.

Martinez: Thank you for the interview.

De Anda: Thank you so much.

Who: Jaime y Los Chamacos
Time: 9:00 PM
Date: 7/25
Cost: $15.00
Phone Number: 956-202-3753
Location: El Patron, in San Benito.

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