Tejano music lecture at CSUB

January 24, 2007
Kathy Miller, 661/654-2456, kmiller26@csub.edu or
Michele Newel, 661/654-2720, mnewell1@csub.edu

José Reyna, a California State University, Bakersfield Spanish professor and musician, will discuss "The Evolution of Tejano Music" on Wednesday, Jan. 31, at 3:30 p.m. in the Dezember Reading Room of the Stiern Library on campus.

Since 1971 Reyna has lectured at major universities across the nation, published scholarly articles, and contributed a lengthy entry in the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music on Tejano music.

"When I began my work on Tejano music there had been no scholarly studies on the subject although the music itself had been around for at least a century," Reyna said. "In fact, by the 1970s, it had already reached its peak.

"My lecture traces the evolution or development of Tejano music since the late 19th century, beginning with the conjunto, an accordion based ensemble, and two other major genres, the orquesta or big band, and the Texas grupos, whose own origins can be traced to conjunto tradition."

The first article Reyna published "focused on the role the music of Texas Chicanos had played in the culture although it had received no attention from either Anglo American or Mexican scholars, and had been neglected by the music industry on both sides of the border. Since the 1970s, it has gained much more respect and acceptance as a major musical tradition with an identity of its own," he said.

Reyna explained the principal distinguishing features of these ensembles are their instrumentation, orchestration and arrangements. The features that he will be discussing will be illustrated with the use of recordings.

In addition to his research Reyna has served on folk arts/folk music panels with the National Endowment for the Arts Folk Arts; the American Folklife Center (The Library of Congress); The California Arts Council's Traditional Folk Arts Program Panel, and the Grammy Awards Latin Music Category Screening Committee, and was accepted as a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for his work with Rounder Records.

For more information, please call Reyna at (661) 654-2358 or Curt Asher at the Stiern Library at (661) 654-3251.