Flaco Jimenez and his
Tiny Desk Concert at NPR
An appreciation in the spirit of Process Theology
What should I be listening for?
"Listen closely to this recording: I think the secret to Jimenez's longevity lies in the short bursts of improvisation in between verses he shares with bajo sexto player Max Baca, of the Grammy-winning band Los Texmaniacs. (The two have an album due out in the spring.) The notes seem to spin and strut just as the dancers do in the serious conjunto dance halls. There's a stutter here, a jazz-like riff there, and when he extends the notes and holds them playfully, I recall my own mother teaching me to spin her in a tight pirouette at family weddings and quinceñeras."
--- Felix Contreras, commenting on Flaco Jimenez above: http://www.npr.org/event/music/164958884/flaco-jimenez-tiny-desk-concert
How does Conjunto help us better understand process theology?
Because it is enjoyable, which is what living beings are aiming at all the time.
Because you want to dance to it, thus illustrating the withness of the body.
Because it is gritty, thus illustrating the rhythmic coalescence of harmony and intensity.
Because it is a symbolic embodiment of working class aspirations, thus illustrating (1) the disgusting elitism of corporate capitalism and (2) the need in our time for communities that are creative, compassionate, participatory, equitable, and culturally rich, with no one left behind.
Because it illustrates and embodies concresence, whereby many different influences from different sources are brought together in surprising ways.
Because it adds satisfaction and pleasure to God's own life, apart from which even God would be kind of bored.
Because the whole idea of linking Whitehead and Conjunto forms such an interesting contrast.
Because no one has ever really asked the question before and maybe doesn't even care, so at least it's novel.
Thanks for asking.
About the accordian
Where did the word accordion come from?
Accordion is derived from the German word "akkord" which means "agreement or harmony."
Why are accordions special?
One of the most unique features of an accordion is that its bellows allow for a virtual total range of expression of sound and notes that can also be sustained for a greater amount of time than most other instruments.
What is an accordion made of?
In general, the outside of the accordion is constructed of cellulose over a wood or metal frame, but sometimes other materials are used. Accordions come in the traditional wood stains as well as classic black and red--but are also available in a rainbow of vibrant hues.
From PBS Accordian Dreams
What is Conjunto?
Conjunto is a unique Texas-based music tradition born in the 19th century that continues to evolve and thrive today. Conjunto, like jazz, blues, and rock and roll, is a distinct American musical genre that has had a major impact on the Mexican American community of the United States, as well as reviving an interest in the accordion, and is gaining fans around the world.
Accordion-driven conjunto is its own culture, has its own fans and followers and plays an integral and vital role in many communities. It is dramatic, vibrant and sensual - far from tradition
From PBS Accordian Dreams
Who is Flaco Jimenez?
"What B.B. King is to the blues, or George Jones is to traditional country, Grammy-winning accordionist Flaco Jimenez is to the world of Tex-Mex conjunto," says music critic Ramino Burr in The Billboard Guide to Tejano and Mexican Music. Born into a family of conjunto musicians, Leonardo "Flaco" Jiménez has led the way in expanding conjunto music from his community in San Antonio, Texas, to new audiences both in the United States and worldwide.
Born in 1939, Jiménez is the son of conjunto pioneer Santiago Jiménez, Sr. By age seven he was already performing with his father, even earning a nickname that had in the past attached to his father, "Flaco," or "Skinny."
Conjunto dates back to the 19th century and is a uniquely Texas tradition. It has a distinctive style, featuring influences from the German, Polish, and Czech immigrants who settled in the predominantly Mexican region of the Texan Rio Grande valley and brought with them popular forms of dance music such as the polka, waltz, schottische, mazurka, and redowa. Tied to this style of music is the diatonic button accordion, which was adopted by tejanos, or Texans of Mexican descent....more
---- from National Endowment of the Arts website, honoring Flaco Jimenez as recipient of 2012 National Heritage Fellow award.