Tejano music legend Jimmy Gonzalez dies

Tejano music legend and Grammy award-winner Jimmy Gonzalez died Wednesday. He was 67.

Jimmy Gonzalez y Grupo Mazz was scheduled to perform as headliners this weekend in Aransas Pass. The Brownsville native was admitted to a San Antonio hospital early Wednesday morning following a brief illness when he died, according to a news release from record label Freddie Records. Earlier this year KXTN-Radio reported Gonzalez was taken to the emergency room following breathing issues.

Gonzalez co-founded the legendary Grupo Mazz in 1978. The trailblazing Tejano band group rose to stardom and garnered numerous accolades and hit songs including “Estúpido Romántico.” Gonzalez played various musical roles over the years including producer, guitarist, vocalist and frontman.

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In the late 1990s, Gonzalez formed Jimmy Gonzalez y Grupo Mazz and joined Freddie Records. His latest album “Porque Todavía Te Quiero” released in April. Gonzalez won a record six consecutive Latin Grammys for Best Tejano Album.

“The legacy of Jimmy Gonzalez will continue to live forever through his unforgettable music, his incredible artistry,” Freddie Records said in a news release, “and his many contributions to the Tejano music industry.”

Cumbia music festival kicks off in Austin on Saturday

Colombian American artist Kiko Villamizar brings a music festival exploring the folkloric roots of cumbia to Austin on June 9.

There’s nothing like cumbia to bring both elders and youth together. On June 9, the Wepa Cumbia Roots Festival returns to Austin with top musicians including Grammy award-winning folk masters Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto of Colombia.

What began as an inaugural festival last year has now expanded to several Texas cities with international stops in countries such as Spain and Germany. Featured Austin artists include Kiko Villamizar, who released his second album “Aguas Frias” in 2017, and Colombian funk band Superfónicos.

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The festival, which starts at 2 p.m. and wraps up at 11:30 p.m., offers Austinites a unique chance to understand the layers of cumbia and the genre’s original instrumentation such as the gaita, the indigenous flute of Colombia. Don’t miss the chance to see why modern cumbia has risen in recent years and found its way to a new generation of listeners.

Advance tickets cost $23.16. Festivalgoers at Kenny Dorham’s Backyard on 1106 E. 11th St. will also enjoy an art market by Las Ofrendas. Visit wepafestival.com for more information.

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