Eva Ybarra, La Reina de Acordeón

Eva YbarraIn a genre (conjunto) dominated by men, Eva Ybarra has done more than hold her own — she has become a master. Born in San Antonio, Ybarra is a self-taught accordionist who began playing in clubs and restaurants at age six. Her fluid style and fast, melodic runs set her apart and earned her the nickname, “la reina de acordeón” (queen of the accordion). Today, after years of performing solo and with her own group, she teaches accordion and inspires the next generation of conjunto musicians.

A profile of Ybarra in today’s San Antonio Express-News covers her music, her teaching, and the challenges she has faced as a rare female accordionist in the conjunto world. If you’ve never heard her play, check out the title track from her 1994 album, A Mi San Antonio:

7 Comments:

  1. Hey Chis -

    Thanks for this great story on Eva Ybarra. I posted a notice and link to it on the Reyes Accordions Forum. I have listened to Eva Ybarra several times in San Antonio. She developed a unique style learning on her own, using more chords than many of the other San Antonio players who rely more on intervals and single notes. She’s performing at 8 pm on Sat. May 12 at the Tejano Conjunto Festival in San Antonio this year.

    Regards,
    John

  2. Thanks John. I can’t believe I forgot to mention the Tejano Conjunto Festival — it’s even on our calendar!

  3. Wow!!! What a great accordionist!!! I would like to meet with Eva Ybarra and take some accordion lessons. I am teaching myself how to play the accordion but /i need a little push. Can anyone help me contact Eva Ybarra? You can email me or contact me at 956-285-8734. (leave message)

    Thanks
    Carmen Esparza

  4. Hi Tia,
    My Grandfather is Manuel Garza Ybarra. I thinks is so wonderful to see you like this, so my children and family members can all enjoy your music. We love you.

  5. Eva, last night I heard your interview on a Colorado PBS radio station and was blown away with your stories, your words and most of all you voice and music. You reminded me of my interview with Amalia Mendoza – La Tariacuri…I work in Colorado and would love to see how I can bring you here to showcase your work. Last year Flaco Jimenez and Little Joe & La Familia rock with La Raza, cowboys, professors, students, Indio todo la ….etc….everyone in our diversity rural community would love you! Please call me at 970-749-4730…God Bless!

  6. Hola Crayola! I knew I could find you …Por Fin!….if I searched for your masterpieces. Desperately seeking, Mi Armiga, Barbara Bustillos De Cogswell.
    Still in Guadalupe, AZ. Deborah Zamora,
    Dispuesta por email debbie.zamora123@yahoo.com (due to no Space Book page:)

  7. It was nice to hear your music here in San Benito, Tx in our annual fiesta. Hope you can come back soon. We really enjoyed it, you did great!!!!!