Conjunto music is San Antonio’s musical soul, and the Tejano Conjunto Festival its Mecca. Now in its 38th edition, the festival offers a wide array of activities starting on Tuesday (see the full schedule on the Guadalupe’s website noted below), but if I have to choose the main pillars of this year’s celebration
I must start with the charming (and free) Seniors Dance on May 15 (10am-noon Wed, Guadalupe Theater, 1301 Guadalupe St.). Also at the Guadalupe on that Wed (7pm) is the must-see screening of Chulas Fronteras (1976), a 58-minute doc on border music directed by Les Blank and Chris Strachwitz.
However, no matter how many exhibits, workshops and Hall of Fame inductions are offered, the meat of the festival will always be the music, and the weekend of May 17-19 has plenty to choose from: Flavio Longoria Conjunto Kings and Río Jordan (featuring Esteban Jordan’s sons) on Friday; the Conjunto Student Showcase on Saturday and arguably the best Sunday ever for the Festival: Eva Ybarra y Su Conjunto, Texmaniacs (pictured) with Flaco Jiménez, and Los Palominos, all in the same closing night after three days of music by more than 30 acts from Texas and California. Bring your dancing shoes, your thirst and your appetite for gorditas — it doesn’t get much more San Antonio than this.
$16 per day, $45 for a three-day pass, 5:30pm-midnight Fri May 17, noon-11pm Sat May 18-Sun May 19, Rosedale Park, 303 Dartmouth St., (210) 271-3151, guadalupeculturalarts.org.
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