(Photos Courtesy of Texas Folklife )
TEXAS FOLKLIFE HOSTS 2020 BIG SQUEEZE FINALS “FROM-HOME” CONCERT
ONLINE THIS FRIDAY, MAY 1
Virtual Event Crowns Top Youth Accordion Players from Across the State
Texas Folklife is hosting its 14th annual Big Squeeze Finals Concert online this Friday to crown the state’s top youth accordion players in the traditional Texas accordion music genres including conjunto, polka, Cajun and zydeco.
The Big Squeeze Finals — originally programmed to feature live youth accordion competitions and a live concert at the Bullock Texas State History Museum — was reimagined and moved to a Facebook Live event in response to state social distancing mandates. The virtual Big Squeeze Finals will feature live Grand Prize winner announcements, special performances by 2019 Big Squeeze Champions Elijah Clements, Chloe Johnson, Perla Hernandez, and Eduardo Garza with a surprise duet with two former winners.
Friday’s event is the culmination of the 2020 Big Squeeze youth accordion programming that began in February and drew dozens of talented young musicians from across the state. Contestants entered the contest through live competitions and recorded submissions. After a round of semi-finals, judges then selected eleven finalists and four Rising Star awards. Three Grand Champions will be announced during the online event. Each of the winners will receive a prize package and future performance opportunities with Texas Folklife.
Friday, May 1
3:00 p.m. — Special Performances by 2019 Big Squeeze Winners
3:30 p.m. — 2020 Big Squeeze Grand Prize Winners Announcement
3:55 p.m. — Surprise Performance
2020 Big SQUEEZE FINALISTS AND RISING STAR AWARDS:
Johnny Joe Gutierrez, Mission
Jorge Ramirez, Roma
Jose Angel Torres, Roma
Jose Vasquez, Farmersville
Manuel Tovar, Brownsville
Nathan Gonzalez, Mission
Roberto Flores, Mission
Yarely Gomez, Roma
Conjunto Rising Star Awards (12 and under)
Annie Gutierrez, Houston
Giovanni Guerrero, Mission
Vianey Villarreal, Houston
Isaak Wolfshohl, Seguin
Nick Heatly, Dallas
Timothy Regheta, Plano
Cajun Rising Star Award
Bridget Roberts, Bridge City
Krissi Reeves / High Kick PR / 512-659-1385 / Krissi@highkickpr.com
Sarah Rucker / Program Director / 512-773-1161 / firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THE BIG SQUEEZE:
The Big Squeeze is presented by Texas Folklife as part of its mission to preserve and present Texas’ diverse cultural heritage. Since 2007, Texas Folklife has promoted Texas accordion music genres through the Big Squeeze program. More than 300 young, talented players from dozens of Texas communities have participated in the program, which supports these vital community-based accordion music traditions. The 2020 Big Squeeze Program Director is longtime Texas Folklife producer and partner Sarah Rucker. The program is sponsored in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts, the Texas Music Office, the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department, Hohner Accordions, H-E-B, Central Texas Accordion Association and Rancho Alegre Radio.
ABOUT TEXAS FOLKLIFE:
Texas Folklife (TXF) is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. TXF is designated by the National Endowment for the Arts as the official folk and traditional arts organization for the state. Since 1984, the TXF has honored traditions passed down within communities, explored the importance of traditional arts in contemporary society and celebrated the state’s vibrant heritage by providing arts experiences enjoyable and accessible for all generations. For more information, visit texasfolklife.org.