Steve Jordan Tribute in Austin

Steve JordanHe goes by many names: Esteban, Steve, “El Parche,” “accordion wizard,” or even “the Jimi Hendrix of the accordion.” No matter what you call him, though, there’s no denying that Esteban “Steve” Jordan is one of the most innovative and influential accordion players ever to pick up the instrument.

Born in Texas in 1939 as one of 15 children, Jordan was partially blinded as an infant and has worn his trademark eye patch (“el parche”) ever since. He made numerous conjunto records during the early 1960s, but by the end of the decade he started exploring and incorporating other musical styles into his work. He fused Latin jazz, salsa, rock, and blues with traditional rancheras and polkas, bringing new rhythms into the conjunto fold. Jordan also forged ahead with new technology, using electronic devices like phase shifters and fuzzboxes to shape his sound, and collaborating with Hohner on his custom Tex-Mex Rockordeon. In 1982, he was one of the first musicians inducted into the Tejano Conjunto Hall of Fame.

This Sunday afternoon, there’ll be a concert in Steve’s honor at the H&H Ballroom in Austin. The list of performers is like a “Who’s Who” of Conjunto/Tejano music — Little Joe, Max Baca and the Texmaniacs, Conjunto Los Pinkys, and a special performance by Steve Jordan himself. For those of us who can’t make it to the show, here’s a classic Steve Jordan track that was included on the Legends of the Accordion compilation:


  1. I like Steve Jordon’s music quite a lot, though it usually doesn’t go down as easy as most of the conjunto I listen to. Have you ever heard his weird version of You’ve lost that lovin feelin? He feeds his squeezebox through some kind of gadget like an echoplex or something. Sometimes it works really well, and other times, well, it’s inventive.

  2. I was about to do a painting of Steve Jordon for the October 9,2010 event in San Antonio and was going to ask his daughter Anita to bring him to the even as I wanted to honor him with a new painting of him…I was surprise to here of his going away to our Lord Jesus at the Ocha’s 2nd annual Tejano Bash in Midland,Texas.

    As a youngster and a musico guitar player back in the late 1960’s we had no mall not much things to look up to do except as musicos look for the next album and wow did Steven Jordon gave us a wow and something to look up to with his awesome cool look with his Parche on his eye it looked so cool and his movements as he played the accordion and his new beat with the song “Peidis Weedies” and with very little to do as a youngster besides driving to the park it was for sure this radical new musico Steven Jordon who would keep us musicos on the edge of what wild new thing he was going to do with his style of performance and that Parche on his eye was so amusing it was as if almost anything he did was cool and amusing….for artist like us musicos it would be so entertaining just to look at him overly energize and more so when he put an added beat here and there to keep things alive as he performed, ……my he had us on the edge of entertainment with his new way of playing the accordion , added beats and that awesome cool Parche on his eye, how cool it was!!

    I think I can talk for most musicos and how we felt about Steve Jordon,…..Steve thanks for every thing, thanks for energizing us to the next level only History will truly let us know all you did for us and the great memories we will carry with us until one day we will see you playing your accordion as we enter into The Perly Gates as we come to see our Lord and Savior Jesus!…….”I will do that painting of you!!”

    Musico and Artist Manny Ribera of Midland, Texas,