Texas Folklife's program Apprenticeships in the Folk Arts brings together master artists and apprentices in collaborations that encourage each to preserve and develop their traditions. The exhibition Pass It On celebrates the lives, talents and commitment of Texas' master folk artists and the apprentices who have worked with them. In the faces of these amsters we see the satisfaction they have gained from their lifetime involvements with particular traditional arts. We see as well the sacrifices some have has to make as members of certain folk groups. Finally, they wear in their expression sthe hope that they are handing on a precious legacy to new minds, hands, feet and voices who will in their turn pass it on for years to come.
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Felipe Perez began playing accordion while still in elementary school. Some of his earliest memories came from watching his uncle play next door, “with a big ol’ cigar in his mouth and a can of beer,” and knew he wanted to learn himself. With little money in the family, Felipe saved up to buy his own accordion, shining shoes along the Corpus Christi cantinas, where the many sailors stationed in town provided consistent business.
Giving Tuesday Pop-Up Party at Canopy
Accordion Kings & Queens is an annual Texas Folklife showcase of the amazing musical diversity of Texas accordion styles, featuring legends of conjunto, polka, country western, zydeco, Cajun and more. The annual event celebrates the cultural diversity of Texas by bringing communities together for an evening of dancing and roots music played on the accordion, "the national instrument of Texas," drawing a capacity crowd of six thousand to Houston's Miller Outdoor Theatre every year.