Narciso Martínez

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Narciso Martínez
Born (1911-10-29)October 29, 1911[1]
Reynosa, Mexico [1]
Died November 13, 1999(1999-11-13) [2]
San Benito, Texas [2]
Genres conjunto music
Occupations accordionist
Instruments accordion
Labels Bluebird
Associated acts Santiago Almeida

Narciso Martínez (October 29, 1911 in Reynosa, Mexico[1] – June 5, 1992 in San Benito, Texas[2]), dubbed early on, El Huracan del Valle ("The Hurricane of the Valley"),[3] began recording in 1935 (or 1936) 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"). The same year, he and Santiago recorded the polka “La Chicharronera” and the schottishche “El Tronconal” for Bluebird Records.[1]

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.[2] In 1937, he would span his music into Cajun and polka, issuing records under the pseudonym "Louisiana Pete" and "Polish Joe".[4][5]

Narciso Martinez is the recipient of the National Heritage Award[1] for his contributions to one of the United States' important ethnic traditions. He recorded for IDEAL Records and Paco Betancourt in San Benito, Texas,[6] as well as large American labels. He died in 1992.



The Father of Texas-Mexican Conjunto (361 Arhoolie, 2009)


  1. ^ a b c d e "Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center". Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  2. ^ a b c d " "MARTINEZ, NARCISO"". Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  3. ^ Peña, Manuel (1985). The Texas-Mexican Conjunto: History of a Working-class Music. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0292780804. 
  4. ^ Joyner, Charles (1999). Shared Traditions: Southern History and Folk Culture (1st ed.). University of Illinois Press. p. p24. ISBN 978-0252067723. 
  5. ^ Dyer, John (2005). Conjunto. University of Texas Press. p. p9. ISBN 978-0292709317. 
  6. ^ " "Narciso Martínez"". Retrieved 2014-08-25.