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2017 Big Squeeze Finalists Announcement


Contest Finals and Concert to be held at the Bullock Museum on Saturday, April 22 (1pm-5pm)

The judges’ decisions are in! Texas Folklife is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2017 Big Squeeze Accordion Contest. Finalists will compete on Saturday April 22nd at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum for grand prizes in three categories. There will be a Grand Prize Winner for Cajun/zydeco, a Grand Prize Winner for polka, and a Grand Prize Winner for conjunto.

The finalists are:

Polka Finalists:
Charlie Bubenik 16 Meadows Place, TX
Mason Nesvadba 20 Guy, TX
Robert Suttie 17 Meadows Place, TX

Cajun / Zydeco Finalists:
Donovan Bourque 16 Beaumont, TX
Chloe Johnson 16 Moscow, TX
Steven Williams 13 Humble, TX

Conjunto Finalists:
Ricky G. Casarez 12 Houston, TX
Luis Gonzalez 21 Grand Prairie, TX
Raul Resendez 17 Mission, TX 
Jesus F. Venegas 20 Brownsville, TX

Texas Folklife also recognizes Honorable Mentions for the 2017 Big Squeeze contest:

Cajun/ Zydeco:
Quest Brown 20 Crosby, TX
Bridget Roberts 21 Beaumont, TX

Erick Garcia 17 Olmito, TX
Eloy Renteria Jr. 19 Midland, TX
Joaquín Linn 10 San Antonio, TX

Thank you to all of our brave contestants that who submitted entries or performed at a live showcase. We had an unbelievably talented field of contestants this year and our judges had to make some very difficult decisions. At the heart of this program, our goal is to encourage young accordionists to continue playing and keep these Texas musical traditions alive. Keep on Squeezin'!

This is the 11th annual Big Squeeze accordion contest for up-and-coming Texas musicians, 21 years of age or younger. There were eight talent showcases held around the state that were free, open to the public, and featured performances by local musicians. The finalists were videotaped and chosen from the field of performers at the showcases (and those who sent in their performances to Texas Folklife) by a panel of esteemed music professionals. Accordionists were judged on their technical proficiency, song interpretation, and stage presence.

Hope to see you at the finals! #BigSqueeze2017 #BigSqueeze

Finalists will perform at the Finals Concert and Playoffs at the Bullock on April 22, and three Grand Prize Winners will be selected. All three winners will perform at Texas Folklife’s highly acclaimed annual Accordion Kings & Queens Festival at Houston’s Miller Outdoor Theatre on Saturday, June 3. In addition, the three Big Squeeze 2017 Grand Prize Winners will receive a prize package valued at more than $4,000, including a cash prize, a brand new Hohner accordion, performance opportunities in Austin and Houston, publicity, professional development, and other professional opportunities.