Shades Of The St. Patricio Brigade: Conjunto Meets Irish At The I-Fest

Conjunto Los Diamentes opened the Roomstore Latin Stage on Sunday. The high-school group came in from La Joya, Texas ("You know where McAllen is?" asks 16-year-old accordionist and music arranger Roger Guerra. "It's a little lower from that.")

Since they aren't a professional group, we aren't going to crack on the fact that they don't have a strong singer (although a few different students and even their teacher Cecilio Garza gave it a try). They were much better at instrumental numbers -- actually much, much better.

Like other groups, Los Diamentes mix traditional sounds of conjunto with other genres. "We're modernizing everything, changing styles," says Guerra. "Everything is usually just Tejano style and we throw in some cumbias, some rock to create a whole new style."

While it's not exactly original -- lots of groups try to blend the genres -- it is pretty good.

Check back for I-Fest slide shows on our main web page. Here's one.

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