Art&Seek presents This Week in Texas Music History. Every week, we’ll spotlight a different moment and the musician who made it. This week, Texas music scholar Gary Hartman discusses a pioneering artist who blended Native-American music with pop, blues, country and jazz.
You can also hear This Week in Texas Music History on Friday on KXT and Saturday on KERA radio. But subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss an episode. And our thanks to KUT public radio in Austin for helping us bring this segment to you. And if you’re a music lover, be sure to check out Track by Track, the bi-weekly podcast from Paul Slavens, host of KXT’s The Paul Slavens Show, heard Sunday night’s at 8.
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Isidro López was born May 17, 1929, in Bishop, Texas. Lopez, whose father was a Mescalero Apache, grew up listening to Native American music, along with Mexican polkas and American country and pop. In high school, Lopez learned to play tenor sax and soon began performing with Narciso Martinez, Tony de la Rosa and other popular Texas-Mexican artists. By blending pop, blues, country, swing, jazz and other styles with Mexican folk music, Isidro López helped to help lay the foundation for modern Tejano.