Marfa Dialogues

Mingo Saldivar

28 April 2007

28 April 2007
Liberty Hall

Join us on April 28 for a performance by national treasure Mingo Saldivar. A master of the push-button accordion and one of norteno’s living legends, Mingo Saldivar has long stretched the music’s conventions as much as he’s upheld them, mixing elements of pop, rhythm & blues, and country music with the traditional dance rhythms of the Texas-Mexico borderlands.

Raised in a musical family outside of San Antonio, Texas, Saldivar learned to play the guitar at an early age; it would be the push-button accordion — one of norteño’s traditional instruments — that would bring Saldivar his eventual fame, though. Barely out of his teens, Saldivar turned professional and steadily established a reputation for showmanship, virtuosic accordion work, and cross-pollinated renditions of classics like Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” (which has since become something of a Saldivar theme song). Nearly five decades later, Saldivar has lived everywhere from Alaska to Texas and played nearly every honky-tonk and dance-hall in between. He’s been awarded NEA National Heritage Fellowships, his albums have been nominated for Grammy awards, and he’s played presidential inaugurations. More than the honors and accolades, though, Saldivar (along with his band Los Tremendos Cuatro Espadas) is best known to his audiences as “The Dancing Cowboy” — a testament to the fact that there’s still nothing that compares to the live experience of Saldivar.