In San Antonio this weekend you’ll find plenty of music: Conjunto music, piano music and a musical stage drama. First off: Conjunto all weekend at the Tejano Conjunto Festival.

Tejano Conjunto Festival

Conjunto was born when Europeans brought accordions to South Texas, and locals paired them with bajo sexto, making the genre a San Antonio native in the world of music. The Guadalupe Cultural Arts’ Cristina Balli says this weekend, Rosedale Park will be the center of the Conjunto universe.

“People come from all over the state, all over the country, people come from Europe, and all the way from Japan,” she said.

Balli says each day the concerts start with high school student showcases. And as the initial generation of big Conjunto stars fade away, their children are following in their footsteps. Tonight, Valerio Longoria’s son Flavio, along with Rio, the son of accordion superstar Steve Jordan. And there’s more.

“Los Cucuys and Rodney Rodriguez, Ricky Naranja y los Gamblers, and we close it off with, from West Texas, Los Garcias Brothers.”

And the Conjunto Festival continues tomorrow, starting at noon.

“Highlights are Los Morales Boyz from Dallas, Albert Soliz, Los Tremendos Cincos from Corpus Christi, Los Monaras de Pete Y Maria Diaz, Conjunto Califas from California, and Lazaro Perez,” Balli said.

Sunday night they bring in the big guns.

“Eva Ybarra, National Heritage Fellow, then Max Baca y Los Texmaniacs with Flaco Jimenez.”

The Texmaniacs and Flaco have won five Grammys between them, and Ybarra is a living legend herself.

Texas Public Radio is one of the festival’s sponsors.


WHAT: Tejano Conjunto Festival

WHERE: Rosedale Park

WHEN: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, starting at noon

COST: $16 for daily tickets

‘Two Hearts That Find Each Other’

Also, starting tonight, The Public Theatre’s George Green says “Once” is a musical built around a Dublin busker who falls for a passer-by.

“It’s a really great story. It’s essentially about two hearts that find each other just by chance on the street,” he said. “And it’s such a touching story to watch, and especially to watch it live.”

The stage adaptation began with the Glen Hansard song called “Falling Slowly,” which became a major hit.

“You can’t stop singing it once you hear it, it stays with you,” Green said. “This cast performs it beautifully, and if you’re not familiar with the stage version of the show, all these musicians are playing on the stage. That song is certainly one that will stay with you but there are several.”

Green says the musical’s title, “Once” is particularly appropriate given that what it has accomplished has only happened once.

“When you see a show that’s won an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, An Olivier and a Tony–it’s the only piece of art that’s done that in history,” he said.

Once runs Friday and Saturday nights, and Sunday afternoons through June 9th.


WHAT: Once

WHERE: Public Theatre of San Antonio

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays through June 9

COST: $20 to $40

Musical Bridges Concert

On Sunday night, Musical Bridges Around the World’s Suhail Arastu said San Fernando Cathedral will be alive with music.

“We’ve got Filigree, featuring the Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Jon Nakamatsu. He’s actually the first American to win this esteemed competition since 1981,” he said.

The non-profit, music-centric Musical Bridges Around the World promotes cultural understanding through innovative multicultural performances. In short, they bring performers from around the world to perform for free in San Antonio.

“It’s extraordinary when you have talent of that caliber,” Arastu said. “He’s played from Kennedy Center to Carnegie Hall. The Clintons have had him at the White House. It is hard to describe; you just have to come hear the music.”


WHAT: Musical Bridges Jon Nakamatsu concert

WHERE: San Fernando Cathedral

WHEN: 7 p.m. Sunday

COST: Free