AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Folklife has crowned four 2019 Big Squeeze youth accordion champions in the traditional Texas accordion music genres: polka; Cajun and zydeco; and conjunto. The gifted young musicians were chosen at a lively concert and showcase at the Bullock State History Museum on May 11, where hundreds of fans gathered to support the accordionists and celebrate one of Texas’ most cherished and culturally diverse musical traditions.
The 2019 Big Squeeze Youth Accordion Champions:
- Conjunto 17 and under: Perla Hernandez – Roma, TX
- Conjunto 18-21 Anthony Ortiz Jr. Prize: Eduardo Garza – Mission, TX
- Polka: Elijah Clements – Little Elm, TX
- Cajun & Zydeco: Chloe Johnson – Moscow, TX
Each of the four winners received a prize package valued at more than $4,000, including a Hohner accordion, cash prize, performance opportunities with Texas Folklife, publicity, professional development and other professional opportunities.
Additionally, the Big Squeeze champions will perform onstage with legendary Texas musicians at Texas Folklife’s 30th Annual Accordion Kings & Queens Concert, held at Houston’s Miller Outdoor Theatre on June 1. Thousands of fans are expected to attend this revered community event.