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Texas Folklife Hosts Big Squeeze Youth Accordion Conjunto Semifinals April 23 in Edinburg



April 13, 2022


Texas Folklife Hosts Big Squeeze Youth Accordion Conjunto Semifinals

Saturday, April 23, at the Museum of South Texas History in Edinburg


EDINBURG, Texas — The Conjunto Semifinals of Texas Folklife’s 16th annual Big Squeeze statewide youth accordion contest returns to the Museum of South Texas History in Edinburg on Saturday, April 23 at noon. It marks the return to live events for the Big Squeeze, after being held completely online for the past two years. The event is free and open to the public.


“Texas Folklife is beyond ecstatic to bring the Big Squeeze semifinals back in front of a live audience in the Rio Grande Valley for the first time since 2019!” said Executive Director Charlie Lockwood. “We are thankful for the opportunity to showcase this group of talented and dedicated young accordionists from across the state with our partners at the Museum of South Texas History.”


The semifinals will showcase a competition among youth accordion players competing in the Big Squeeze’s Conjunto category, along with a performance by Los Cucuys de Rodney Rodriguez. Los Cucuys’ performance is also special as they were the last band to perform at a live Big Squeeze event in 2020 before the Covid pandemic forced the program to be held online for two years.


The Conjunto semifinalists have been chosen after their video entries were scored by a panel of judges. They will perform live for the judges at the semifinals, after which the judges will select six finalists to compete in Austin next month.


2022 Big Squeeze Conjunto Semifinalists:


16 and Under Age Category

Ricardo Cabrera, Austin

Fernanda Fuentes, Roma

Alejandro Solis, Roma

Perla Urbina, Roma

Diego Gonzalez, Mission

Angel Guerra, Mission

Giovani Guerrero, Mission

Christopher Ramirez, San Antonio


17-21 Age Category

Victor Hernandez, Mission

Marin Hinojosa, Palmview

Galilea Paz, Roma

Manuel Tovar, Brownsville


This year’s Big Squeeze finals are returning to their traditional home, as well, at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin. They will be held Saturday, May 14. Finalists in all categories — Conjunto, Polka, Zydeco, and Cajun — will compete for top prizes. In the Conjunto category, prizes will be awarded for two categories: age 16 and under, and the Anthony Ortiz Jr. Prize for the age category 17-21.


Winners will receive a cash prize, a new Hohner accordion valued at more than $1,500, performance opportunities with Texas Folklife, publicity, professional development, and other opportunities.


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 2022 Big Squeeze is supported in part by the generosity of H-E-B, a Squeezebox Legend Sponsor, who has contributed to worthy causes through Texas and Mexico for 115 years. We also are grateful to the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board for their long-time support. This project is made possible in part by a grant from the Texas Music Office, Office of the Governor, as well as contributions from Hohner Accordions, Texas Commission on the Arts, City of Austin Cultural Arts Division and other regional partners.


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, 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 for all generations. For more information, visit


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Notes for editors: Images of the semifinalists are available on request. 

The Museum of South Texas History is located at 200 N. Closner Blvd. in Edinburg, Texas. More information at:

Suggested social media hashtags: #bigsqueeze2022 #texasfolklife #texasmusic #bigsqueeze #accordion #acordeon


Media Contact:

Rebecca Johnson, Arts Articulated

(512) 689-0240;


Program Contact: 

Sarah Rucker, Program Director

(512) 773-1161;


Big Squeeze Conjunto Semi-Finals