The following article was written by Roberta Walden of the Uvalde Palooza Music Festival Committee.
“I’m going to play it for the rest of my life,” Del Rio-based Conjunto Mi Rey frontman Joe Ybarra said of the conjunto music he loves.
Conjunto Mi Rey is one of seven eclectic Texas bands booked to play outdoors at the Rotary Amphitheater during the free outdoor portion of the Uvalde Palooza Music Festival. The festival is scheduled for Saturday, March 19. Conjunto Mi Rey takes the stage at 2 p.m.
Musicians scheduled to perform during the free outdoor portion of the music festival are Texas country artists Morgan Ashley at 10 a.m., Kay O’Neill at 11 a.m. and Kathy Bauer with Michael Broussard at noon; the young rock and roll group, Siphon, at 1 p.m.; Tejano conjunto artists Conjunto Mi Rey at 2 p.m.; Latin artist, Analiz Mireya y La Kadenzia, at 3 p.m.; and the group Tejano Ambience Caliente at 5 p.m.
At 4 p.m. there will be a Selena lookalike contest hosted by radio station KUVA. The competition will include a cash prize for the first, second and third place winners.
At 8 p.m., the music festival moves inside the Ssgt. Willie De Leon Civic Center as the doors open for a pay dance featuring Ricardo Castillon y La Diferenzia.
Ybarra of Conjunto Mi Rey says he played in traditional Tejano bands all his life “with brass, keyboards, nine band members: like an orchestra”, but then “about 10 years ago”, he learned to play the 10-string bajo quinto and, with it, conjunto Tejano. Now that’s all he wants to play.
“All music requires reading the audience to gauge how the audience reacts,” Ybarra said, “but conjunto Tejano is, for me, more physical and passionate, and projecting that energy onto the audience is key. ‘love.”
Ybarra continued: “In addition to the bajo quinto, the accordion is an essential component of this genre, and it is not an easy instrument to learn.”
He said that most accordion players learn from family members at a very young age and playing the accordion is a skill one seems to be born with.
“This music is so much fun,” Ybarra said. “It’s a real reward when we go to play somewhere like the Fiesta in San Antonio and throngs of people en route elsewhere stop to listen to us.”
The Uvaldeans will soon have the chance to share in the fun of Ybarra’s group.
The Uvalde Palooza Music Festival is presented by the Rotary Club of Uvalde.
Advance tickets for the indoor Civic Center Dance featuring Ricardo Castillon y la Diferenzia can be purchased on Eventbrite.com as well as at the Uvalde Convention and Visitors Bureau and Galo Eye Care Center.
For more information about the outdoor music festival, text or call Vendor President Veronica Conoley at 830-279-8504