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The contest is one of the ways in which Texas Folklife carries out its mission to preserve and present Texas’s diverse cultural heritage. The contest recruits players in all genres of the Lone Star State’s accordion-based music, including German, Czech, and Polish polka; Creole, Cajun, and zydeco; conjunto, norteño, and Tejano; and Country & Western.
Through the Big Squeeze program, Texas Folklife has built a reputation as a champion of Texas accordion music genres, and has supported over 200 young, talented players in their efforts to carry on these community-based accordion music traditions.
In 2017, Texas Folklife will hit the road again and hold Big Squeeze showcases in communities throughout the state to search for young accordion talent. The showcases will be free and open to the public, and will feature music by established accordion artists as well as showcase the young musicians. Finalists will be selected by a panel of judges and will perform at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in April where three Grand Prize Winners will be selected and receive prize packages. The Grand Prize Winners will perform onstage with legendary Texas musicians at the Accordion Kings & Queens Concert in Houston in June. Arrangements are being made now for showcases across the state and an announcement will be made with dates, venues, and application instructions in January.
This is a special time in Texas Folklife’s history. The thirty-two year old non-profit has a lot of fresh, young faces leading it. Charlie Lockwood is Texas Folklife’s new Executive Director, appointed in October 2016. Lockwood has worked with the organization since 2012, and previously served as Programs, Operations, Development Director and Acting Director. And a new Big Squeeze Program Director is taking the helm this year. áá
“I can’t wait to get started on the Big Squeeze Accordion Contest for 2017,” said Executive Director Charlie Lockwood. “We at Texas Folklife have a lot of new energy for this year’s program. I’m particularly pleased that Alysha á
The Big Squeeze is supported by Hohner, Inc., The Texas Music Office, Hacienda Records, and by grants from Texas Commission on the Arts, the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division, the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board, and the Houston Endowment.