The Big Squeeze is a statewide accordion contest for players under the age of 21. The finals were held on the patio outside the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum last Saturday. The competition is sponsored by the non-profit Texas Folklife.
The contest was split into three categories: Conjunto, Polka, and Zydeco. Regional competitions determined three finalists for each category, who then performed before a panel of judges on Saturday. The winners of each category received a Hoehner accordion and an invitation to play in June’s Accordion Kings & Queens Festival in Houston.
I have watched this competition in the past and enjoyed this year’s event just as much. Accordion music is lively and the performers are fun to watch. Several couples danced. A few professional accordionists performed too, including last year’s winner, Michael Ramos.
- Conjunto: Aaron Daniel Salinas (San Antonio)
- Polka: Garret Neubauer (Altair, pictured below)
- Zydeco: Randall Jackson (Dallas)