Fellowships 2023

Music has always been a constant in my life. From an early age, I can remember hearing music always in the background. I believe it is the music that defines me. It’s who I am. I grew up on Mexican Traditional songs. I did leave it for a while, but I eventually found my way back to my roots.

Being Mexican-American is an honor, because I live in two worlds. I speak fluent English and Spanish. I embrace two cultures, American and Mexican Culture. It’s the music that connects me to both.

I believe that music filled the gaps in my life, because music was my therapy, and it took me to a place of peace and comfort. I am blessed and it’s a gift given to me to share with others. My hope is that I can give what music gave to me. Music gave me confidence to pursue other adventures.

Our cultural history is told in song, in verses, and in teachings. I have taken on the obligation of sharing my musical talents with those wanting to learn how to play the guitar and sing. Every year for the last five years, I gave free guitar lessons to school age children at a local church. In the lessons, I include history of music and how music arrived in our beloved countries of the United States and Mexico. It is my hope that music gives them the same confidence and direction it gave me.

Growing up in a small town, I was a shy young man. Being on stage and performing for a large audience gave me confidence in myself and it did bring me out of my shell. While in the military, I performed for the troops in a war zone. For a moment, they had a sense of home. After my honorable discharge, I attended college obtaining a bachelor degree and master degree. I was the first in my family to graduate and attend college and universities. My education has allowed me to be an advocate for local Latino concerns and issues. All this can and did happen, because of the confidence I gained through music.

Since 1974, I have played with Jazz, Rock, Country, Blues, and Tejano music, and have no plans on stopping. I am the leader of a local Tejano group, “Tejano 208.” Where we keep Tejano music alive and well in Idaho. Tejano music is taken from Mexican traditional songs, and given a Country and Jazz flavor. All Tejanos are American citizens with our own culture and music. Tejano is our music. Tejanos embrace all traditional Mexican songs as they are part of our roots and heritage.

I also perform as a solo act. I just love the interaction I get with the audience, and the welcoming response I get. I’ve been invited to sing at various Latino and community events. I became a musician, because maybe I had an instinctive enthusiasm. Maybe the planets were aligned just right, because I found music, and music found me. Looking back on my life, music has always been a part of it. I think I’ll just keep it in my back pocket.