The Tejano Conjunto Festival Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony featured a special dinner and dance on Thursday, May 16, 2024 from 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9186 (650 VFW Blvd.) in San Antonio. It honored new inductees Jose A. Morante and Juan Santos and showcased esteemed Hall of Fame inductees from previous years, including Bene Medina y su Conjunto Águila, Eddie “Lalo” Torres, Boni Mauricio y Los Máximos, Ruben Garza y La Nueva Era, and Santiago Jimenez. Jr., who has been nominated for three Grammys.

“Through the Conjunto Festival Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, we come together to honor the legendary figures of Conjunto music, celebrating their lasting contributions,” says Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Executive Director Cristina Ballí. “The Hall of Fame is a testament to the enduring spirit of Conjunto and the giants who help shape its legacy,” she added.

“Jose A. Morante has been hugely influential on conjunto music as an artist, songwriter, and for the classic recordings he made of hundreds of groups on his Norteño, Sombrero, and Lira record labels. It is great to finally see him inducted into the Conjunto Music Festival Hall of Fame,” said Dan Margolies, producer of the Tejano Conjunto Festival. “Juan Santos is also truly deserving of this recognition for his remarkable musicianship from his days performing with Conjunto Bernal, to playing with Nosotroz, to crafting his own line of custom accordions. He has seen and done it all!”

José A. Morante, a prominent figure in the San Antonio music scene, embarked on his musical career as a conjunto musician under the former RCA record company, Bluebird. Later he transitioned to Decca Records. Morante wrote close to 300 widely recorded songs and was especially known for his topical corridos (ballads) about current events. He established Norteño, Sombrero, and Lira records, and began recording and promoting local artists and releasing them on his label, leaving his mark in Conjunto music history by recording artists like Lydia Mendoza, Bene Medina, Los Pavos Reales, Flaco Jimenez, Mingo Saldivar, Chano Cadena, Manuel Guerrero, and Beatriz Llamas. Rita Vidauirri alone recorded more than forty singles for Morante.

Juan Santos was a chromatic button accordionist for Conjunto Bernal as well as Nosotroz and a wide variety of conjuntos in the Midwest. Santos is recognized as a significant Conjunto accordionist, and later also crafted his own line of Conquistador accordions, cementing his significant influence on Conjunto music.

The Hall of Fame is part of the 42nd Annual Tejano Conjunto Festival, which encompasses five days of live performances and dancing, including a special Seniors Dance and the Conjunto Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The TCF crowd has continually grown over the years, and draws an enthusiastic audience of approximately 9,000 fans, dancers, and musicians from across Texas and the United States, as well as Mexico, Europe, and Asia.