In the past decade or so, much has been written about the decline and apparent death of Tejano Music, the much-loved yet all but forgotten genre that mixes traditional conjunto music with modernized, keyboard-driven pop sounds native to the Mexican-American population of South Texas.
The Houston radio airwaves no longer carry the format, with the FM stations KQQK Tejano 106.5 and Super Tejano 108.5 gone for more than a decade, and Tejano 980 AM also converting away from the genre over the last few years.
Even the so-called Go Tejano Day at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is Tejano in name only, showcasing its last Tejano act back in 2007. The popular after work Party On the Plaza showcases held at Jones Plaza are a sweet memory, and the stage at Guadalupe Plaza remains silent.
Yet there is one event where Tejano has always flourished and continues to do so: The Annual Festival Chicano at the Miller Outdoor Theatre. For three days every October, a certain Mr. Daniel Bustamante has produced Tejano showcases and community events for the whole family, much to the delight of the still-strong fan base of the genre.
So Rocks Off headed over to Hermann Park this past weekend and spoke to five influential artists about the current state of Tejano music and their response to claims that Tejano is dead.