Migrant Labor and Music

Labor migration has taken the music of South Texas to many parts of the U.S. In Washington state, for example, migrant laborers who came to harvest crops in Washington’s Yakima Valley were reminded of the Rio Grande Valley. Some settled in Yakima permanently, including Guadalupe Guzmán and his compadre, bajo sexto legend Santiago Almeida. Guzman’s performances inspired a younger generation of Yakima-born Tejanos to learn conjunto music. Portrait of (l-r) Lupe Guzmán, Joe Guzmán, Joel Guzmán, and Manuel Guzmán, year unknown.