Pedro Ayala

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Pedro Ayala
Birth name Pedro Ayala
Born (1911-06-29)June 29, 1911
General Terán, Nuevo León, Mexico
Died December 1, 1990(1990-12-01) (aged 79)
South Texas
Genres Conjunto
Instruments accordion
Years active 1935–1989
Labels Arhoolie Records, Bego Records, DiscOlando Records, Eco Records, El Pato Records, Falcon Records, Folklyric Records, Ideal Record, Oro Records, RyN Records

Pedro Ayala (June 29, 1911[1] – December 1, 1990[2]), called "El Monarca del Acordeón",[1] was a Mexican accordionist and songwriter from General Terán, Nuevo León, Mexico.[1] Pedro Ayala lead the birth of conjunto music [3] with his distinctive accordion playing, receiving a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship Award[1] for his contribution to conjunto and folk music.


Ayala, the son of musician Emilio Ayala,[1] began playing the accordion when he was 5 years old.[citation needed] By age fourteen, Pedro was playing a two-row button accordion, guitar and playing with one of his favorite accordionists, Chon Alaniz.[1] In 1957 his sons Ramon Ayala, and Pedro Ayala Jr. (Quito) joined his group Pedro Ayala y su Conjunto.[citation needed] By 1963 Pedro Ayala's youngest son Emilio joined the group renaming the group to Pedro Ayala El Monarca del Acordeón y Los Hermanos Ayala touring the entire United States for the next several years.[citation needed] Over the course of his career, Ayala made 10 albums and numerous 78- and 45-rpm recordings that included polkas, chotes, valses, and redovas.[1]


Pedro Ayala married Esperanza Benitez in 1935.[1] They had a total of nine children three of which also played instruments. Hector Ayala, Elia Ayala, Pedro Ayala Jr., Anita Ayala, Ramon Ayala, Pedro Ayala Jr. (Quito), Olga Ayala, Magdalena Ayala, and Emilio Ayala.[citation needed]


In 1988 Pedro Ayala received a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship.[1] Ayala was given a Texas flag that flew over the state capitol in Austin, Texas by Governor Ann Richards.[citation needed] Pedro Ayala y Los Hermanos Ayala were invited to perform at the White House in Washington, D.C. by the Smithsonian Institution.[4][5] The entire event was documented on video.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i [1] Archived July 20, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "Texas Music Office - Texas Music Pioneers (A-M) / Texas Music History Tour". Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  3. ^ "Texas Music Guide" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  4. ^ Arhoolie Records
  5. ^ [2]

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