Narciso Martínez Interview

Narciso Martínez, born in 1911, in Reynosa, Tamalipas, across the Texas-Mexico border, is known as the “father” of the Texas-Mexican conjunto.  Upon making his first recording, “La Chicharronera/El tronconal,” with the Bluebird label in 1936, he struck out in a new stylistic direction on his accordion.  Other accordionists in Texas had generally followed what may be called the “Germanic” style, utilizing both the right and left hand buttons.  Martínez had begun to rely on his bajo sexto player, Santiago Almeida, for the bass-and-harmonic accompaniment to fill out his lead on the accordion, while he concentrated on the treble end of his instrument.  The resulting sound and style were immediately distinguishable, thus laying the framework for the modern tejano conjunto style of music.  Martínez became immensely popular with working-class tejanos, and he continued to record and perform his dance music of polcas, valses, huapangos and other tunes until the 1980s.

  • Narciso Martínez Interview 1 00:00
  • Narciso Martínez Interview 2 00:00
Interviewee: Narciso Martínez
Interviewer: Chris Strachwitz and unknown
Language: English/Español

This is an interview originally recorded for research purposes. It is presented here in its raw state, unedited except to remove some irrelevant sections and blank spaces. All rights to the interview are reserved by the Arhoolie Foundation. Please do not use anything from this website without permission.