Texas Folklife announces the 16th annual Big Squeeze youth accordion contest. This year’s event will include a mix of virtual and in-person events in traditional Texas accordion music genres including conjunto, polka, Cajun, zydeco and more. Cajun, zydeco and polka categories are open to ages 25 and under and Conjunto is open to 21 and under.
Big Squeeze season opens March 1st when Texas Folklife begins accepting contest entries, which will be sent in by video. Sign-up, event details and contest rules are now available at texasfolklife.org/bigsqueeze2022. All entries are due by March 31st by 11:59 p.m.
A pair of in-person events will follow the virtual entries. The Conjunto Semi-Finals return live to the Museum of South Texas History in Edinburg on Saturday, April 23.
Then on Saturday, May 14, the ever-popular Big Squeeze Finals return live to the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin.
Grand prize winners each will receive a cash prize, future performance opportunities with Texas Folklife, publicity, professional development and other professional opportunities.
In addition to the contest, this year’s Big Squeeze also will feature a series of virtual discussions with members of Texas’ accordion community about the future of the Big Squeeze. “We are looking to make changes and to improve the program,” said Texas Folklife Executive Director Charlie Lockwood, “and community input will be an important part of this process.”
Interested players are encouraged to submit an application no later than March 31st at midnight. The complete contest rules and entry forms are available online at texasfolklife.org/bigsqueeze2022 or by calling 512-441-9255.
The Big Squeeze is presented by Texas Folklife as part of its mission to preserve and present Texas’ diverse cultural heritage. Since 2007, Texas Folklife has promoted Texas accordion music genres through the Big Squeeze program. More than 300 young, talented players from dozens of Texas communities have participated in the program, which supports these vital community-based accordion music traditions.
The 2022 Big Squeeze Program Director is longtime Texas Folklife producer and partner Sarah Rucker. This is Rucker’s 12th Big Squeeze in its 16-year history.
The Big Squeeze offers a variety of opportunities for individuals and organizations to become sponsors of this distinguished program. For more information on becoming a Big Squeeze Sponsor, visit texasfolklife.org/bigsqueeze2022 or call 512-441-9255.
The 2022 Big Squeeze is supported in part by the generosity of H-E-B, a Squeezebox Legend Sponsor, who has contributed to worthy causes through Texas and Mexico for 115 years. We also are grateful to the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board for their long-time support. This project is made possible in part by a grant from the Texas Music Office, Office of the Governor, as well as contributions from Hohner Accordions, Texas Commission on the Arts, City of Austin Cultural Arts Division and other regional partners.