Tuesday, February 20, 2018
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AUSTIN – Whether making a weekend trip or starting off on vacation across Texas, it might be worth a stop to start off the summer fun with a little bit of music at the 27th Annual Accordion Kings & Queens Festival. Texas Folklife will bring its annual celebration of the state's accordion roots music to Houston's Miller Outdoor Theatre on Saturday, June 4, at 7 p.m.

In keeping with its mission to preserve and present Texas's diverse musical heritage, the festival will feature stars and legends in polka, Cajun, zydeco and conjunto. This year's accordion stars will include David Lee Garza and special guests, the Magnolia Sisters, Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie, and the Czech Melody Masters.

All the entertainment will be co-emceed by writers and radio hosts Joe Nick Patoski and Tony Diaz. The festival is free and open to the music-loving public. Festivalgoers wanting seats in the pavilion area can pick up their free tickets the day of the festival at the Miller Box Office or become members of Texas Folklife and receive reserved tickets in advance. Membership information is available at texasfolklife.org/info/membership.

David Lee Garza has had a 30-year career playing the accordion in Texas. He started at age seven in his hometown of Poteet, which he still maintains as his home base. Garza and his band, Los Musicales, have generated hit after hit with their blend of progressive conjunto, country, Tex-Mex and Tejano. The band has produced over 30 albums, worked with two major labels and has recently started their own label, JROD Records. The first CD produced from the new label, “Just Friends,” won a Latin Grammy for Best Tejano Album in 2013.

Geno Delafose is a zydeco accordionist and singer. His father is the famous zydeco accordion player John Delafose. Geno is one of the younger generations of the genre who has helped create the musical style known as nouveau zydeco. This style is deeply rooted in traditional Creole music with strong influences from Cajun music and also from country and western.

His debut album, which was released in 1994, was titled French Rockin' Boogie. The name of the album became the name of his band with whom he still plays today—and will be on stage with him at the Festival. He was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album in 2007 for his Le Cowboy Creole album.

The Magnolia Sisters have been called folklorists as well as gifted musicians. The band has a rich repertoire that hails from southwest Louisiana—Cajun, Creole, dancehall favorites and front porch ballads. In addition, they sing rich harmonies on a cappella ballads, play string band numbers from the 1930s, tell stories, and play songs from long lost Cajun musical scores.

The four members include Ann Savoy on accordion, guitar, fiddle, and vocals; Jane Vidrine on guitar, fiddle, and vocals; Anya Burgess on fiddle, guitar, and vocals; and Lisa Trahan on bass, vocals, percussion, and accordion.

The Czech Melody Masters describe themselves as Austin's only authentic Czech polka band. Their repertoire includes historic melodies they've rescued from faded music scores and 78 rpm records. They have performed all over the country and have produced four albums.

Members include Dennis Svatek, lead trumpet, lead vocals, and music arranger; Dave Bedrich, trumpet and vocals; Thomas Durnin, stand up bass; Frances Barton on accordion; Rob Schmidt on drums; and Stephen Svatek on baritone and guitar.

The Miller Outdoor Theatre is located just south of downtown Houston, near the museum district and the Houston Medical Center at 6000 Hermann Park Drive. For more information, call 281-373-3386

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