Esteban “Steve” Jordan Dies

Steve JordanIt’s a sad day for accordion and Tejano music fans; legendary accordionist Esteban “Steve” Jordan died last night of complications from liver cancer. He was 71 years old.

Known as “El Parche” because of his eye patch, Jordan started his career in conjunto in the 1960s, but soon began exploring and incorporating other musical styles into his work — blending rock, Latin jazz, blues, and salsa with traditional polkas and rancheras. He pushed the limits of the diatonic accordion and wasn’t afraid to experiment with new technology, using electronic devices like phase shifters and fuzzboxes to shape his sound.

“‘What Steve Jordan did was, he electrified the accordion,’ says Sunny Sauceda, a rising star on the squeezebox. ‘He used pedals, he brought in jazz influences to the accordion playing. He brought in the effects that had never been done on the accordion — to this day, nobody does it.’”

Definitely one of the all-time greats. Rest in peace, El Parche.


  1. Very sad news. He was such a remarkable and inventive player.

  2. Just a comment on a wasted opportunity. I attended the Tejano portion of the Cotati Accordion Festival yesterday (Sunday, August 22, 2010) and not one of the Tejano artists who played-neither Flaco Jimenez nor the Texmaniacs-even mentioned the death of Esteban Jordan jsut last week. As you all may or may not know, Esteban was not only one of the greatest Tejano accordionists, but may have been perhaps the greatest accordion player to date. I felt that it was a wasted opportunity to pay tribute to Esteban’s contributions to accordion music, musicianship and innovation-all goals of the Cotati Accordion Festival. Perhaps there is some way for the Tejano, musician and accordion players/lovers community in California to pay tribute to his contributions to the music in the future. There will never be another Esteban Jordan and his life of music should be acknowledged in California where he lived (San Jose) and played (all over the Bay Area) for years and spread joy, happiness and love for the squeeze box.

  3. Your comment is well written. It is not unusual for my Father not to be recognized in his own musical genre. He never needed the recognition although in my opinion he was in a category all alone and his stellar quality is untouchable. His musical excellence is deserving of its own award and should any performer have the ability to be named a recipient of the Esteban Jordan Excellence in Music Award it would be the highest honor known for their contribution notwithstanding the musical instrument they have mastered. I wish I could present an award of this magnitude yet it would be almost impossible to recognize anyone who has shunned his life as your comment suggests.

    Thank you for acknowledging this huge oversight!


    Anita M. Jordan

  4. steve jordan was and still is the best even from beyond the grave his style in music and how he carried him self was just the coolest thing i ever seen i had the privlege to smoke with him and he even gave me some advise on my accordian playin i will never forget him i will always have him in my heart and even though his gone he still takes a lot of good fellas to school all you got to do is turn on his music and see how much of it can you get i know that there will never be another steve jordan and every body else says it buy steve once said that the name jordan was product and it would continue on i dont expect ricardo and little steve to fill his shoes but i do expect to at least try them on rio jordan may not be the best band but i know they are the best musicians in the industry cause their teacher is and always be the best and dont you forget it i will be watching rio jordan and expect great music your friend johnny gonzalez el flamingo kid

  5. Anita,Thomas,

    We are sorry to hear about your Dad, Grandfather. His music will always be with us .

    We wish you the very best.


  6. several of my family members and residents of my city took advantage of estevan jordan`s music by dancing and the most and getting the enjoyment out
    that we could get and than talk about it the next day.
    the first time i heard him play and sing was on the
    domingo show. it was him and virginia-duo. they were great. what ever happened after that, i just kept
    enjoying his music. he deserves an award of his own
    a special music award. he recorded a song and played all the instruments himself. he had a white man singing in spanish. his son steve was little when
    he started playing in the group (drums). and he could
    teach anybody almost any instrument they wished to
    learn how to play. he WAS HIS OWN MAN, and you
    couldn`t tell his what to do. big loss