The Big Squeeze Accordian Contest Announces 2014 Search for Top Talent in South Texas
Talent Showcase to be held at McDonald Public Library in Corpus Christi on Sunday, February 9, sponsored by Hacienda Records, with a Special Performance by Chano Cadena.
Three Grand Prize Winners will perform at the 25th Annual Accordion Kings & Queens Festival, June 7 at Houston’s Miller Outdoor Theatre.
Texas Folklife announces its eighth annual Big Squeeze accordion contest for up-and-coming Texas musicians, 21 years of age or younger. The non-profit that endeavors to preserve and promote Texas’s diverse cultural heritage is looking for great players in all genres of the Lone Star State’s accordion-based music, including German, Czech, and Polish polka; Creole, Cajun, and zydeco; and conjunto, norteño, and Tejano.
In order to better nurture young Texas talent, Texas Folklife is restructuring the popular contest this year. The contest will go on the road again this spring in order to meet the young accordion players in their communities in talent showcases. Three Final Grand Prize Winners will be devoted to the three main accordion genres—polka, zydeco, and conjunto. The polka genre will include German, Czech, and Polish traditions. Zydeco will include Creole and Cajun musical traditions. And conjunto will include norteño and Tejano. The showcases will be free, open to the public, and feature performances by local musicians.
The Big Squeeze will hold a talent showcase at the McDonald Public Library in Corpus Christi on Sunday, February 9. The showcase will be held from 2:00-4:00 p.m. After the talent showcase, there will be a special screening of the documentary, The Big Squeeze, directed by award-winning filmmaker Hector Galán, and a special performance by the legendary Chano Cadena. Also, there is an exhibit on view in the library, La Música del Sur de Tejas, which displays the rich musical history and heritage of South Texas, and should blend very nicely with the afternoon’s program.
This event is sponsored by Hacienda Records and is free and open to the public. Interested players may register on site or in advance by calling Texas Folklife at (512) 441-9255 or online at www.texasfolklife.org. Those who cannot attend the showcase may mail or email their entries to arrive at Texas Folklife no later than April 7, 2014. The complete contest rules and entry forms are available online or by calling Texas Folklife.
Nine finalists (three from each category) will be chosen from the field of performers at the showcases (and those who send in their performances to Texas Folklife) by a panel of esteemed music professionals. Accordionists will be judged on their technical proficiency—skill in playing, and technical and musical accuracy—as well as their song interpretation (stylistic choices, innovation, and originality) and stage presence (level of comfort on stage and attention to personal appearance). The nine finalists will be announced on April 11. The finalists will perform at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin on Saturday, April 26. Three Grand Prize Winners will be selected. There will be one winner for each accordion category—polka, zydeco, and conjunto. All three winners will perform at Texas Folklife’s highly acclaimed annual Accordion Kings & Queens Festival at Houston’s Miller Outdoor Theatre on Saturday, June 7, 2014. The three Big Squeeze 2014 Grand Prize Winners will also receive a prize package valued at more than $4,000, including a cash prize, a brand new Hohner accordion, performance opportunities in Austin and Houston, publicity, professional development, and other professional opportunities.
“We are thrilled to be partnering for the first time with McDonald Library for our Big Squeeze contest,” says Executive Director Cristina Ballí. “The director and staff have been wonderful to work with and are helping us get the word out, so we hope we have a lot of awesome squeezeboxers show up and showcase their accordion skills. We are grateful to our friends at Hacienda Records, who are sponsoring this family-friendly event.”
The Big Squeeze is supported by the members and Board of Texas Folklife and by Hohner, Inc.; by grants from Texas Commission on the Arts and the Texas Music Office, the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division, the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board, the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, the Houston Endowment, and Texas Gas Service. Additional support is provided by regional businesses including SugarHill Recording Studios, Antone’s Records, Hacienda Records, and Frank+Victor Design.
About Texas Folklife
Texas Folklife is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2014, Texas Folklife has honored the authentic cultural traditions passed down within communities, explored their importance in contemporary society, and celebrated them by providing accessible and joyful arts experiences. It is located in Austin, Texas, in the SoCo neighborhood—one of the city’s vibrant commercial and arts district.
1317 S. Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78704
T (512) 441-9255
F (512) 441-9222
McDonald Public Library
4044 Greenwood Drive
Corpus Christi, TX 78416
Media information: Sheree Scarborough / (512) 922-5483 / email@example.com
Big Squeeze information: Sarah Rucker/ (512) 441-9255 / firstname.lastname@example.org