The Big Squeeze: 2016

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The Big Squeeze is usually an annual competition for teenage accordion players, but this year a tenth anniversary concert was held on the plaza in front of the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum. I think this was partly due to a change in coordinators at the sponsoring organization, Texas Folklife. The concert was not well-attended, probably because it conflicted with the Pecan Street Festival and the O. Henry Pun-Off.

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I missed the first few performances because I had gone to the Pun-Off first. When I finally arrived at the concert, Keyun Dickson and the Zydeco Masters were playing. That kind of music always gets people on their feet and dancing, especially a zydeco version of Prince’s Let’s Go Crazy.

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Next up was Los Morales Boyz, featuring 2011 Big Squeeze winner, Nachito. They played conjunto music with accordion, guitars, and drums. I happened to be sitting next to their proud mother and learned about their career so far.

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Other Big Squeeze winners and finalists also performed at this anniversary concert. It was all good accordion music, but lacked the excitement of the competition. Hopefully Texas Folklife will resume that contest next year.

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