In 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: