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New Artists’ Book: The Real Tejano Conjunto Accordion Book

January 3, 2023

Exciting news! An artists’ book two years in the making has made it to Special Collections.

The real Tejano conjunto accordion book title page, followed by an image of Eva Ybarra.

Back in August 2020, we reached out to book artist Peter Thomas about his The Actual Accordion Book to see if it covered the accordion’s history in Tejano music. The previous work was a general book about accordions and accordion books, but Peter offered to make a custom Tejano accordion book for UTSA Special Collections. For the accordion part of this accordion book, Peter chose a 1930s Hohner button accordion to repurpose. Peter printed the contents on handmade paper and his wife, Donna Thomas, then hand-colored each page. The text portion was completed with research assistance from Cathy Ragland from UNT.

The finished product features photographs of accordionists, like the above image of Eva Ybarra, from UTSA Special Collections and Arhoolie Foundation. The original images UTSA provided can be found in our Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center and San Antonio Express-News Photograph Collections. Accordionists featured include:

  • Eugenio Abrego
  • Tony De La Rosa
  • Flaco Jimenez
  • Santiago Jimenez Jr.
  • Santiago Jimenez Sr.
  • Steve Jordan
  • Valerio Longorio
  • Narciso Martinez
  • Domingo Saldivar
  • Michael Salgado
  • Antonio Tanguma
  • Eva Ybarra

UTSA Special Collections is proud to share “The real Tejano conjunto accordion book“, a one-of-a-kind artists’ book, with our community. To see this work in person, be sure to schedule a visit to the John Peace Library Reading Room on UTSA’s main campus.

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