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Narciso Martinez

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Narciso Martínez (Reynosa, Mexico, October 29, 1911 – June 5, 1992, San Benito, Texas, USA) was a conjunto accordionist.

Martínez dubbed early on, El Huracan del Valle (“The Hurricane of the Valley”), began recording in 1936, on October 21 precisely, and is the father of conjunto music. The Spanish word conjunto means ‘group’ and in El Valle de Tejas that means accordion, bajo sexto, and contrabajo (string bass, known locally also as “el tololoche”).

Don Narciso, the first widely successful conjunto recording artist, made hundreds of recordings of mostly instrumental dance tunes emphasizing the melody side of the accordion and leaving the bass parts to his bajo sexto player, Santiago Almeida. This established a new sound, which is quickly identifiable as Texas-Mexican Conjunto Music.
Narciso Martinez is the recipient of the National Heritage Award for his contributions to one of the United States’ important ethnic traditions. He recorded for IDEAL Records and Paco Betancourt in San Benito, Texas, as well as large American labels. He died in 1992.

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