Since January of this year, the Conjunto Heritage Taller (or workshop) has offered classes in accordion and bajo sexto in an effort to preserve and nurture the conjunto musical tradition. On Saturday, August 23, the Taller will put together a concert that is also intended as a barbecue fundraiser for the fledgling organization. In keeping with the workshop's cultural agenda, the festival, dubbed "Tardeada en Southtown," will offer a lineup loaded with authentic, acoustic conjunto: Santiago Jimenez Jr., Jesus "Chucho" Perales, Max Baca and the Texmaniacs, Los Pinky's, the Mexican Roots Trio, Juan & Armando Tejeda, and more. The festival will be at 740 South Alamo (at Camargo), and runs from 2 to 10 p.m. Admission is free.
In 1946, Percy Heath took his severance pay from the United States Air Force and bought a standup bass. That began a jazz family dynasty that's been swinging for 57 years and counting. Like Percy, his younger brothers Jimmy (sax) and Tootie (drums) have played on historic sessions with a roster of jazz's greatest innovators: Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Herbie Hancock, and Wes Montgomery, to name just a few.
Although they built a reputation for individual excellence and occasionally collaborated with each other, it's only since 1975 that the trio has consistently worked as the Heath Brothers. They're not merely the elder statesmen of hard-bop, they're an ongoing creative enterprise that continues to live up to its legacy in the studio and on stage. The Heath Brothers will be in town for a rare San Antonio performance on Saturday, August 23, at Trinity University's Ruth Taylor Hall, located at 1 Trinity Place. Showtime is 7 p.m., and tickets are $15 at the door. Call 734-3941 for reservations. •