Lesson 4: Conjunto/Tejano Music

This week we go “south of the border”–or, depending on our perspective, “north of the border”–to enjoy music that’s a mixture of so many things and yet distinctly, uniquely, American.

CONJUNTO: “‘Conjunto’ music of the Mexican-American communities of Southern Texas is a not just form of entertainment and a conjunto gathering not just a lighthearted excuse to dance….”

TEJANO: “In the 1960s and ’70s, the Mexican-American children of the generation that had enjoyed musica orquestra infused conjunto music with more orchestral instrumentation, adding keyboards, brass instruments and percussion. This next generation fusion of conjunto music with orquestra instrumental flair became known as “tejano….”

WAILA: An extraordinary fusion of Native American, Mexican/Spanish, German/Central European and Southwestern U.S. genres of music that twist and turn around each other just enough to make us dance….”

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