Five new hall of famers will be inducted into the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Conjunto Music Hall of Fame during the festival, bringing the total to 70. In the past, the musicians were ushered into eminence during a separate ceremony at the Teatro Guadalupe, but this year the honors will be awarded onstage at Rosedale Park during the performances, weaving the presentations in with the sets.
The Alice-based accordionist has been cranking out the conjunto for nearly 60 years, accruing accolades for both his technical ability and prolific output. In the 1960s, he mentored Ruben Naranjo, who initially played with the Conjunto Cadena. Naranjo, who became a Guadalupe Center Conjunto Hall of Famer in 2011, went on to form the nationally successful band Ruben Naranjo y Los Gamblers. Ruben died in 1998, but his son Ricky assumed the mantle of the conjunto group and carried on; Ricky’s son, Ruben Naranjo III, also performs with Los Gamblers. Chano will squeeze out several songs with the Naranjos Friday night.
The Johnson Brothers
San Antonio natives Carlos, Juan, and Raúl of the Chalito Johnson y Los Paisanos band will each receive Hall of Fame recognition this year, and Los Paisanos will reunite on Sunday for the occasion, sans Raul, who passed away in 1996. Descendents of a musical family, the brothers launched their career in the Alamo City in 1962 and, having achieved some hit singles early on, eventually broke the gold-record mark in the 1980s with “El Gorrión y Yo.” To mark the occasion, Chalito’s son Ariel Johnson, now frontman for San Antonio’s La Klika, will accompany Los Paisanos for a few numbers.
Jesús “Chucho” Perales
Another San Antonian, multi-instrumentalist Jesús Perales became a regular on the local conjunto circuit in his teenage years, eventually backing conjunto legend Valerio Longoria. Branching beyond conjunto, in 1956 the trailblazing Chicano rocker was swept into nationwide success after he swung his guitar power into Mando & The Chili Peppers, often credited as the first Chicano rock-and-roll band. Touring with the Peppers in the ’50s and ’60s, Chucho shared the ticket with the likes of Ritchie Valens and Ray Charles, and appeared on Bob Horn’s Bandstand (precursor to American Bandstand). Mr. Perales, now 76, is scheduled to accept the honor Sunday, though he will not himself perform.