|Birth name||Leonardo Jiménez|
|Born||March 11, 1939|
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
|Instruments||Accordion, bajo sexto, vocals|
Leonardo "Flaco" Jiménez (born March 11, 1939) is an American singer, songwriter and accordionist from San Antonio, Texas. He is known for playing Norteño, Tex Mex and Tejano music. Jiménez has been a solo performer and session musician, as well as a member of the Texas Tornados and Los Super Seven.
Over the course of his seven-decade career, he has received numerous awards and honors, including Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Grammys, Americana Music Awards, Tejano Music Awards, and Billboard magazine.
He began performing at the age of seven with his father, a pioneer of conjunto music, and began recording at age fifteen as a member of Los Caporales. Jiménez's first instrument was the bajo sexto, but he later adopted the accordion after being influenced by his father and zydeco musician Clifton Chenier.
He was given the nickname "Flaco" (which translates as "Skinny" into English), which was also his father's nickname.
Jiménez performed in the San Antonio area for several years and then began working with Doug Sahm in the 1960s. Sahm, better known as the founding member of the Sir Douglas Quintet, played with Jiménez for some time. Jiménez later went to New York City and worked with Dr. John, David Lindley, Peter Rowan, Ry Cooder and Bob Dylan. He appeared on Cooder's world music album Chicken Skin Music and was a guest musician on the Rolling Stones' Voodoo Lounge album. These appearances led to greater awareness of his music outside of America. After touring Europe with Cooder he returned to tour in America with his own band, and on a joint bill with Peter Rowan. Jiménez, Rowan and Wally Drogos were the original members of a band called the Free Mexican Airforce.
Jiménez won his first Grammy award in 1986 for his album Ay Te Dejo en San Antonio, whose title song was composed by his father. His third Grammy was for another song written by his father, "Soy de San Luis", recorded by the Tejano fusion group Texas Tornados with Augie Meyers, Doug Sahm and Freddy Fender.
Jiménez was one of the featured artists in the 1976 documentary film Chulas Fronteras, directed by Les Blank. He also appeared as a band member in the 2000 movie Picking Up the Pieces, with Woody Allen and Sharon Stone, and was also featured on the film's soundtrack. His music has been featured on the soundtrack for other movies, such as Y Tu Mamá También, El Infierno, The Border, Tin Cup, Chulas Fronteras, and Striptease.
His brother, Santiago Jiménez, Jr., is also an accomplished accordionist and has recorded extensively.
In March 2015, Jiménez suffered a broken hip and two rib fractures from two separate falls. By May of that year, he returned to performing and was one of the acts on closing night of the 34th annual Tejano Conjunto Festival in San Antonio.
Jiménez and his wife once owned a food truck in the San Antonio area, named Tacos Jimenez. His son Leonardo Jiménez III and his wife Gilda relaunched the business in January 2021.
- Una Sombra, 1972, D.L.B. Records, San Antonio, TX
- El Papa Del Caminante, 1973, D.L.B. Records, San Antonio, TX
- Mis Polkas Favoritas, 1973, D.L.B. Records, San Antonio, TX
- Corridos Famosos, 1973, D.L.B. Records, San Antonio, TX
- Clavelito Clavelito, 1973, D.L.B. Records, San Antonio, TX
- La Otra Modesta, 1974, D.L.B. Records, San Antonio, TX
- El Rey De Texas, 1975, D.L.B. Records, San Antonio, TX
- A Mis Amigos Cariñosamente, 1976, D.L.B. Records, San Antonio, TX
- El Principe Del Acordeón , 1977, D.L.B. Records, San Antonio, TX
- Flaco Jiménez Y Su Conjunto, 1977, Arhoolie Records
- Flaco ‘79, 1979, D.L.B. Records, San Antonio, TX
- Mis 25 Años, 1980, D.L.B. Records, San Antonio, TX
- El Sonido de San Antonio, 1980, Arhoolie
- Polkas De Oro, 1983, D.L.B. Records, San Antonio, TX
- Ay Te Dejo en San Antonio, 1986, Arhoolie
- Flaco's Amigos, 1988, Arhoolie
- San Antonio Soul, 1991, Rounder Records
- Partners, 1992, Warner Bros. Records
- Flaco Jiménez, 1994, Arista Records
- Buena Suerte Senorita, 1996, Arista
- Said and Done, 1998, Virgin Records
- Arriba el Norte, 1998, Sound Records
- Sleepytown, 2002, Back Porch Records
- Squeeze Box King, 2003, Compadre Records
- Ya Volvi De La Guerra, 2009, Fiesta Records
- Entre Humo y Botellas, 2009, Rounder
- Flaco & Max: Legends & Legacies, 2014, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
- One Night at Joey's (Live), 1999, Sony Records
Compilations and re-releases
- El Rancho de la Ramalada, [release year unknown], Joey Records
- Ay Te Dejo en San Antonio y Más!, 1990, Arhoolie
- Un Mojado Sin Licencia and Other Hits From the 1960s, 1993, Arhoolie
- Flaco's First! (with Los Caminantes), 1995, Arhoolie
- 15 Exitos, 1995, Joey Records
- Best of Flaco Jiménez, 1999, Arhoolie
- Ultimo Tornado, 2001, Warner Bros.
- 20 Golden Hits, 2001, Hacienda Records
- Flaco's Favorites: 14 Fabulous Tracks, 2002, Fab14 Records
- Contiene Exitos, Prieta Case Se Me Olvido Otra Vez, 2003, Discos Ranchito
- Fiesta Del Rio, 2006, Fiesta Records
- Melodias, 2010, Joey Records
- Polkas y Mas..., 2010, Joey Records
Featured on multi-artist compilation albums
- Tex-Mex Conjunto Classics, 1999, Arhoolie
|1992||"Me Está Matando"||38||Partners|
|US Country||CAN Country|
|1996||"All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down"||The Mavericks||13||15||Music for All Occasions|
- 2007 : "My Name Is Buddy" (Nonesuch Records), by Ry Cooder, with Paddy Moloney, Van Dyke Parks, Mike & Pete Seeger, Bobby King & Terry Evans, Jim Keltner, Jacky Terrasson, Jon Hassell
- 1989 : Plays accordion on "New Pony" on the Orchestre Super Moth EP The World At Sixes And Sevens. Released on Rogue Records (12FMS 6–7).
Awards and honors
Jiménez was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 31st Tejano Music Awards ceremony in 2011.
In 2014, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Instrumentalist from the Americana Music Association. He received his plaque at the ceremony from longtime collaborator Ry Cooder, with whom he also performed at the event.
Jiménez was one of five artists to receive the inaugural Distinction in Arts honor from the City of San Antonio in 2015. Also in 2015, his collaborative album with Max Baca titled Flaco & Max: Legends & Legacies won an award in the Latin Album category at the 14th Annual Independent Music Awards.
In 2017, a photograph of Jiménez taken by Al Rendon in 1987 was added to the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Images in the Gallery "represent the numerous individuals who have made a significant impact on the history and culture of the United States".
Jiménez received the Top of Texas Award from the Country Music Association of Texas in 2019. Earlier in the same year, he also received the History-Making Texas Award from the Texas State History Museum Foundation.
In 2021, Jiménez's album Partners was selected as one of 25 works to be inducted into the National Recording Registry's class of 2020, with the registry calling Jiménez "a champion of traditional conjunto music and Tex-Mex culture who also is known for innovation and collaboration with a variety of artists."
|1987||Ay Te Dejo en San Antonio||Best Mexican-American Performance||Won||solo album|
|1989||Flaco's Amigos||Best Mexican-American Performance||Nominated||solo album|
|1991||"Soy de San Luis"||Best Mexican-American Performance||Won||song by the Texas Tornados|
|1992||Zone of our Own||Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal||Nominated||album by the Texas Tornados|
|1996||Flaco Jiménez||Best Mexican-American/Tejano Music Performance||Won||solo album|
|"Cat Walk"||Best Country Instrumental Performance||Nominated||Lee Roy Parnell song, featuring Jiménez|
|1999||Los Super Seven||Best Mexican-American Music Performance||Won||album by Los Super Seven|
|Said and Done||Best Tejano Music Performance||Won||solo album|
|2015||himself||Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award||Won|
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