Tejano-Conjunto-Norteño Convening

On October 2, 2010, Texas Folklifeand the Border Studies Club of South Texas College, Mid-Valley Campus, hosted a bi-national convening to examine the history and current state of Tejano Conjunto and Norteño music with an engaged group of musicians, scholars, cultural workers, media professionals and the public from both sides of the border.  The convening which was free and open to the public, reviewed the common history of these cultural markets, the way the musical styles have influenced each other over the years and are affected by economic forces, and highlighted models where enthusiasts of both styles of music have been able to co-exist in harmony.


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The program included music history lectures by renowned ethnomusicologists: Dr. Manuel Peña (UC Fresno) on Tejano Conjunto music, Francisco Ramos (Governor’s office of the State of Tamaulipas) on Norteño music, and Dr. Cecilia Ballí (UT Austin) and Dr. Catherine Ragland (UT Pan American) on the recent developments of both styles of music.  Musicians, promoters, media and recording professionals, cultural workers and academics engaged in panel discussions.  Participating musicians included Oscar Hernandez, Ramiro Cavazos, Pepe Maldonado, Julian Garza “El Viejo Paulino,” Cirilo Luna “El Palomo,” Juan and Federico Longoria, Samuel and Salomón Ramos, and more.  Other confirmed participants included Elsa Sanchez Sosa (Instituto Cultural Reynosense), Dr. Victor Aureliano Zuñiga (Universidad de Monterrey), Amancio J. Chapa (La Joya ISD), Rogelio Nuñez (Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center), Rick Garcia (Hacienda Records), Gilbert Reyes (ReyesForum.com), Ramiro Burr and more.  The program ended with music by young band Conteño of Brownsville, featuring Juan Longoria Jr., winner of the first Big Squeeze Accordion Contest, and Retoño of San Benito.  

Schedule of Event

Tejano Conjunto/Norteño Music Convening

South Texas College, Weslaco, Texas

October 2, 2010


sponsored by Texas Folklife and the STC Border Studies Club

Center for Mexican American Studies of the University of Texas

Universidad de Monterrey College of Education and Humanities

Instituto Reynosense para la Cultura y las Artes

UT Pan American



STC Mid-Valley Campus, Lecture Hall (G191)

10:00 AM  – Opening and Welcome: Cristina Balli & Amancio Chapa

10:10 – Lecture by Guillermo Berrones and Francisco Ramos:

 history of Norteño music (45 min)

11:05 - Lecture by Manuel Peña: history of Tejano Conjunto music (45 min)


12:00 PM  – Luncheon & Presentation:  “Tributo a los Grandes: a musical homage” 

            Ramiro Cavazos, Oscar Hernandez

            Cirilo Luna con Miguel y Roberto Luna – tributo a Miguel Luna, “El Palomo y el Gorrion”

            Julian Garza, “El Viejo Paulino”


Lectura Hall (G191)

12:45 – Tejano Conjunto and Norteño at the Turn of the Century: What does Tejano and Norteño     

             look like now and what shall we think about?  by Cecilia Balli and Cathy Ragland

2:00 – Panel 1- Performance & Media: musicians, promoters, venues, radio, recording

industry, music writers, internet                Moderator:  Juan Tejeda

Panelists will be asked to answer the following questions in terms of their own experience in their respective music styles and roles:

            - Where have we been? (how have they experienced the music until now)

            - Where are we now?

            - Where would I like us to be, or in what direction can we go?

4:00  – Panel 2 – Where Tejano and Norteño Meet:  Spaces where Tejano & Norteño co-exist

Moderator:  Cristina Balli

-       Conjunto education programs in some Rio Grande Valley school districts (La Joya, Edcouch/Elsa, San Benito)   Amancio Chapa, Celeste Sanchez (pending)

-       ReyesForum.com – an internet site with over 6,000 members, fans of both Tejano and Norteño music      Gilbert Reyes

-       Young bands Conteño (Brownsville) and Retoño (San Benito) who are creating a new hybrid sound that combines Tejano, Conjunto and Norteño,  Juan & Federico Longoria, Salomon & Samuel Ramos

-       Cultural events and organizations, like the Tejano Conjunto Festival in San Antonio and the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center, that have included Texan and Mexican styles of music Juan Tejeda, Rogelio Nuñez, Francisco Ramos, Luisa Fernanda Patron, Jose Francisco Garza

5:00 – General discussion led by Juan Tejeda: Where shall we go now?

6:30 – Closing Remarks by Victor Zuñiga


7:00 to 9:00 PM – Celebration with  young bands

                                    Conteño of Brownsville

                                    Retoño of San Benito