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The Tejano Conjunto Festival kicks off this week

This year celebrates the 40th anniversary of the festival with 40 bands taking the stage.

SAN ANTONIO — The Tejano Conjunto Festival en San Antonio kicks off Monday at Rosedale Park.

Cristina Balli is the Executive Director of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center and said organizers still honor the tradition started in 1982 by then director, Juan Tejeda.

“He wanted to give the recognition and the respect that our folk music and our folk customs deserved. Many people will think that, ‘oh, this is cantina music. You know, this is lower class music, working class people music.’ But it's precisely because of that, because it is working class music that it deserves to be recognized and valued. And so that was the beginnings of the Conjunto Festival,” said Balli.

Balli said the festival is the first and longest running Conjunto music festival in the country.

This is the 40th anniversary of the festival and Balli said will draw a much bigger audience than the first festival in 1982 where 25,000 people attended at Market Square.

The festival kicks off Monday and goes through Sunday.  Festivities include film seminars, a special book signing with Little Joe, and over 40 bands taking the stage.

For a full lineup and ticket information visit guadalupeculturalarts.org

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