Gulf Coast Highway

Border Music

Grupo Fantasma


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Along the Texas-Mexican border in the 19th century, Mexicans, Native Americans, and Anglo-Americans living in the region intermingled with European immigrants looking for new opportunities. The clash and fusion of multiple languages and traditions resulted in a distinct "Tejano" culture.

Tejano music is influenced by Mexican storytelling ballads called corridos, accordion-based polkas of norteno music, Anglo-American fiddle music, mariachi bands, Colombian cumbia, and the lively brass section of small, local bands called orquestas‚ not to mention salsa, rock, jazz, blues, funk, and country.

Border music also owes its sound to German immigrants who filled dance halls with waltzes, polkas, and the distinctive tones of the accordion. Narciso Martnez was one of the first and most influential accordion players in the border region due to his virtuosic, fast-paced playing. When he brought together the accordion with the bajo sexto (12-string bass guitar) in the 1930s, conjunto music was born.

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