LJ Palmview High School Freshman, Juan Jose Gutierrez has been named one of 12 State finalists in the Texas Folk Life 2018 Big Squeeze Accordion Contest!

Finalists will next compete for 4 grand prizes in 4 categories with an overall Grand Prize Winner in Polka (age 25 and under), Cajun & Zydeco (age 21 and under), Conjunto (age 17 and under), and in the Anthony Ortiz Jr. Conjunto category (age 18-21).

Because of the participation level and incredibly high skill level of the contestants this year, the contest also gave numerous honorable mentions, where 2 other La Joya ISD students, Eduardo Garza and Raul Resendez, were highlighted

Congratulations to all of the finalists who are helping to keep the accordion tradition alive in Texas.

The 2018 Big Squeeze Statewide Accordion Contest Finals and Concert will be held on Saturday, April 21, from 1:00-5:00 p.m. at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. The event is free and open to the public and will be held inside on the first floor under the Grand Rotunda.

The finalists will perform at the Big Squeeze Accordion Contest Finals and Concert before a panel of judges and the public, accompanied by Austin Music Hall of Fame’s Conjunto Los Pinkys. The free afternoon concert will feature performances by Grammy-nominated musician, producer, and polka ambassador Alex Meixner, and Los Fresnos High School’s Conjunto Halcón, founded and directed by Texas Folklife’s first Big Squeeze Champ Juan Longoria Jr.

In addition, there will be a Big Squeeze Brunch and After Party and Accordion Workshop (with Grammy-nominated Alex Meixner) held on Sunday, April 22, from 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Texas Folklife Gallery.

The event is free for Big Squeeze 2018 finalists and their families and for Texas Folklife members (members contact Texas Folklife for promo code). For all others admission is $10.”


The four Big Squeeze 2018 Grand Prize Winners will receive a prize package valued at more than $4,000, including a Hohner accordion, cash prize, performance opportunities with Texas Folklife, publicity, professional development, and other professional opportunities. Additionally, the Grand Prize Winners will perform onstage with legendary Texas musicians at Texas Folklife’s Accordion Kings & Queens Concert, held at Houston’s Miller Outdoor Theatre on June 2.