Leonardo "Flaco" Jiménez (born March 11, 1939)[1] is an American singer, songwriter and accordionist from San Antonio, Texas. He is known for playing Norteño, Tex Mex and Tejano music. Jiménez has been a solo performer and session musician, as well as a member of the Texas Tornados and Los Super Seven.[2]

Flaco Jiménez
Jiménez at Old Settlers Music Festival 2022
Jiménez at Old Settlers Music Festival 2022
Background information
Birth nameLeonardo Jiménez
Born (1939-03-11) March 11, 1939 (age 84)
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
Instrument(s)Accordion, bajo sexto, vocals
Years active1946–present
Member of

Over the course of his seven-decade career,[3] he has received numerous awards and honors, including Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Grammys, Americana Music Awards, Tejano Music Awards, and Billboard magazine.

Early life Edit

Jiménez, who is of Mexican descent, was born in San Antonio, Texas in 1939. He is descended from a line of musicians, including his father Santiago Jiménez Sr.,[4][5] and his grandfather Patricio Jiménez.[6]

He began performing at the age of seven with his father, a pioneer of conjunto music, and began recording at age fifteen as a member of Los Caporales. Jiménez's first instrument was the bajo sexto, but he later adopted the accordion after being influenced by his father and zydeco musician Clifton Chenier.[7]

He was given the nickname "Flaco" (which translates as "Skinny" into English), which was also his father's nickname.[4]

Career Edit

Jiménez performed in the San Antonio area for several years and then began working with Doug Sahm in the 1960s. Sahm, better known as the founding member of the Sir Douglas Quintet, played with Jiménez for some time. Jiménez later went to New York City and worked with Dr. John, David Lindley, Peter Rowan, Ry Cooder and Bob Dylan. He appeared on Cooder's world music album Chicken Skin Music and was a guest musician on the Rolling Stones' Voodoo Lounge album.[7] These appearances led to greater awareness of his music outside of America. After touring Europe with Cooder he returned to tour in America with his own band, and on a joint bill with Peter Rowan. Jiménez, Rowan and Wally Drogos were the original members of a band called the Free Mexican Airforce.[8]

Jiménez appeared on the November 13, 1976 episode of NBC's Saturday Night with Cooder.[9][10]

Jiménez on stage at Farnham, U.K., 1985 (on tour with Peter Rowan)

In 1988, he performed on the hit country single "Streets of Bakersfield" by Dwight Yoakam and Buck Owens.[11] The song reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in 1988.[12]

Jiménez won his first Grammy award in 1986 for his album Ay Te Dejo en San Antonio, whose title song was composed by his father.[11] His third Grammy was for another song written by his father, "Soy de San Luis",[11] recorded by the Tejano fusion group Texas Tornados[13][14] with Augie Meyers, Doug Sahm and Freddy Fender.

Starting in 1998, he was a member of Los Super Seven, a supergroup that won a Grammy Award for their eponymous album.[15]

Jiménez was one of the featured artists in the 1976 documentary film Chulas Fronteras, directed by Les Blank.[11] He also appeared as a band member in the 2000 movie Picking Up the Pieces, with Woody Allen and Sharon Stone, and was also featured on the film's soundtrack.[16] His music has been featured on the soundtrack for other movies, such as Y Tu Mamá También, El Infierno, The Border, Tin Cup, Chulas Fronteras, and Striptease.[17][18][19]

He was one of the artists featured in archival footage in the 2013 documentary film This Ain't No Mouse Music about Arhoolie Records and its founder Chris Strachwitz.[20][21]

The Hohner company collaborated with Jiménez to create the Flaco Jimenez Signature series of accordions.[22]

Personal life Edit

His brother, Santiago Jiménez Jr., is also an accomplished accordionist and has recorded extensively.

In March 2015, Jiménez suffered a broken hip and two rib fractures from two separate falls. By May of that year, he returned to performing and was one of the acts on closing night of the 34th annual Tejano Conjunto Festival in San Antonio.[23]

Jiménez and his wife once owned a food truck in the San Antonio area, named Tacos Jimenez.[24]

Discography Edit

Jiménez and Baca, 2013

Studio albums Edit

  • Una Sombra, 1972, D.L.B. Records, San Antonio, TX
  • El Papa Del Caminante, 1973, D.L.B. Records, San Antonio, TX
  • Mis Polkas Favoritas, 1973, D.L.B. Records, San Antonio, TX
  • Corridos Famosos, 1973, D.L.B. Records, San Antonio, TX
  • Clavelito Clavelito, 1973, D.L.B. Records, San Antonio, TX
  • La Otra Modesta, 1974, D.L.B. Records, San Antonio, TX
  • El Rey De Texas, 1975, D.L.B. Records, San Antonio, TX
  • A Mis Amigos Cariñosamente, 1976, D.L.B. Records, San Antonio, TX
  • El Principe Del Acordeón , 1977, D.L.B. Records, San Antonio, TX
  • Flaco Jiménez Y Su Conjunto, 1977, Arhoolie Records
  • Flaco ‘79, 1979, D.L.B. Records, San Antonio, TX
  • Mis 25 Años, 1980, D.L.B. Records, San Antonio, TX
  • El Sonido de San Antonio, 1980, Arhoolie
  • Polkas De Oro, 1983, D.L.B. Records, San Antonio, TX
  • Ay Te Dejo en San Antonio, 1986, Arhoolie
  • Flaco's Amigos, 1988, Arhoolie
  • Entre Humo y Botellas, 1989, Rounder Records
  • San Antonio Soul, 1991, Rounder Records
  • Partners, 1992, Warner Bros. Records
  • Flaco Jiménez, 1994, Arista Records
  • Buena Suerte, Señorita, 1996, Arista
  • Said and Done, 1998, Virgin Records
  • Arriba el Norte, 1998, Sound Records
  • Sleepytown, 2002, Back Porch Records
  • Squeeze Box King, 2003, Compadre Records
  • Ya Volvi De La Guerra, 2009, Fiesta Records
  • Flaco & Max: Legends & Legacies, 2014, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Live albums Edit

Compilations and re-releases Edit

  • El Rancho de la Ramalada, [release year unknown], Joey Records
  • Ay Te Dejo en San Antonio y Más!, 1990, Arhoolie
  • Un Mojado Sin Licencia and Other Hits From the 1960s, 1993, Arhoolie[25]
  • Flaco's First! (with Los Caminantes), 1995, Arhoolie
  • 15 Exitos, 1995, Joey Records
  • Best of Flaco Jiménez, 1999, Arhoolie
  • Ultimo Tornado, 2001, Warner Bros.
  • 20 Golden Hits, 2001, Hacienda Records
  • Flaco's Favorites: 14 Fabulous Tracks, 2002, Fab14 Records
  • Contiene Exitos, Prieta Case Se Me Olvido Otra Vez, 2003, Discos Ranchito
  • Fiesta Del Rio, 2006, Fiesta Records
  • Melodias, 2010, Joey Records
  • Polkas y Mas..., 2010, Joey Records

Featured on multi-artist compilation albums Edit

  • Tex-Mex Conjunto Classics, 1999, Arhoolie

Singles Edit

Year Single Peak positions Album
US Latin
1992 "Me Está Matando" 38 Partners

Guest singles Edit

Year Single Artist Peak chart
US Country CAN Country
1996 "All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down" The Mavericks 13 15 Music for All Occasions

Participations Edit

Awards and honors Edit

Between 1986 and 2015, Jiménez has won six Grammy Awards, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award,[26] plus an additional three nominations.[27]

In 1999, Jiménez was awarded the Billboard Latin Music Lifetime Achievement Award.[11]

In 2000, Jiménez won a Tejano Music Video of the Year award at the Tejano Music Awards for his song "De Bolon Pin Pon".[28]

In 2001, both Flaco and his brother Santiago were included among the first group of recipients of the Texas Medal of Arts[29] in the folk arts category.[30]

Jiménez was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 31st Tejano Music Awards ceremony in 2011.[28]

In 2012, he received a National Heritage Fellowship awarded by the National Endowment of the Arts,[2][5] which is the United States government's highest honor in the folk and traditional arts.

In 2014, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Instrumentalist from the Americana Music Association.[31] He received his plaque at the ceremony from longtime collaborator Ry Cooder,[32] with whom he also performed at the event.[33]

Jiménez was one of five artists to receive the inaugural Distinction in Arts honor from the City of San Antonio in 2015.[34] Also in 2015, his collaborative album with Max Baca titled Flaco & Max: Legends & Legacies won an award in the Latin Album category at the 14th Annual Independent Music Awards.[35]

In 2017, a photograph of Jiménez taken by Al Rendon in 1987 was added to the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Images in the Gallery "represent the numerous individuals who have made a significant impact on the history and culture of the United States".[36][37]

In 2018, the Houston Chronicle listed him as number 19 of the Greatest 50 Texas Musicians of all time.[38]

Jiménez received the Top of Texas Award from the Country Music Association of Texas in 2019.[39] Earlier in the same year, he also received the History-Making Texas Award from the Texas State History Museum Foundation.[40][16]

In 2020, Jiménez received the Chris Strachwitz Legacy Award from the Arhoolie Foundation.[41]

In 2021, Jiménez's album Partners was selected as one of 25 works to be inducted into the National Recording Registry's class of 2020, with the registry calling Jiménez "a champion of traditional conjunto music and Tex-Mex culture who also is known for innovation and collaboration with a variety of artists."[42]

Grammy awards Edit

Year Nominated work Category Result Notes
1987 Ay Te Dejo en San Antonio Best Mexican-American Performance Won solo album
1989 Flaco's Amigos Best Mexican-American Performance Nominated solo album
1991 "Soy de San Luis" Best Mexican-American Performance Won song by the Texas Tornados
1992 Zone of our Own Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal Nominated album by the Texas Tornados
1996 Flaco Jiménez Best Mexican-American/Tejano Music Performance Won solo album
"Cat Walk" Best Country Instrumental Performance Nominated Lee Roy Parnell song, featuring Jiménez
1999 Los Super Seven Best Mexican-American Music Performance Won album by Los Super Seven
Said and Done Best Tejano Music Performance Won solo album
2015 himself Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Won

References Edit

  1. ^ "How Mexico Learned To Polka". NPR.org (Morning Edition). March 11, 2015. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Leonardo "Flaco" Jiménez: Tejano Accordion Player". Arts.gov. National Endowment for the Arts. n.d. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
  3. ^ "Flaco Jiménez speaks on Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award". KHOU 11. February 10, 2015. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  4. ^ a b "American Roots Music: Flaco Jimenez". PBS. 2001. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  5. ^ a b Contreras, Felix (November 12, 2012). "Flaco Jimenez: Tiny Desk Concert". NPR Music. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  6. ^ Seeber, Jill S. (n.d.). "Jiménez, Santiago Sr. (1913–1984)". Handbook of Texas. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  7. ^ a b Deming, Mark. "Flaco Jiménez: Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  8. ^ "The Free Mexican Air Force". The Strachwitz Frontera Collection of Mexican and Mexican American Recordings. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  9. ^ Fuentes, Gladys (December 26, 2019). "Keeping Tradition Alive: Los Texmaniacs Are The Past, Present, And Future Of Conjunto Music". Houston Press. Houston, Texas.
  10. ^ "Saturday Night Live: Dick Cavett/Ry Cooder". IMDb.com. n.d. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  11. ^ a b c d e Burr, Ramiro (April 24, 1999). "El Premio Billboard: Flaco Jiménez". Billboard. Vol. 111, no. 17. p. LM-6. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  12. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2006). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits (Second ed.). New York: Billboard Books. p. 403. ISBN 9780823082919. LCCN 2006-923455. OCLC 72847469.
  13. ^ "So The Punk Says To The Ranchero, 'You Should Listen To Piñata Protest'". NPR.org (Alt.Latino). May 28, 2015. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  14. ^ "Texas Tornados | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  15. ^ Ankeny, Jason (n.d.). "Los Super Seven: Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  16. ^ a b Wang, Jackie (December 6, 2018). "Charles Butt, Flaco Jiménez to Receive 'History-Making Texan' Awards". San Antonio Report. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  17. ^ Hernandez, Raoul (May 17, 2002). "Y Tu Mamá También: Y Tu Mamá Tambien Album Review". Austinchronicle.com. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  18. ^ "Flaco Jiménez | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  19. ^ "Tin Cup (1996) - IMDb". IMDb.com. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  20. ^ Silverman, Jack (April 18, 2013). "Nashville Film Festival 2013: A Dozen Films You Shouldn't Miss". Nashville Scene. Nashville, Tennessee. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  21. ^ "This Ain't No Mouse Music (2013)". IMDb.com. n.d. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  22. ^ "Hohner and Flaco Jimenez Announce New Signature Accordion". PRWeb. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  23. ^ Saldaña, Hector (May 18, 2015). "Return of a legend; Jimenez, back from injuries, main draw at conjunto festival". San Antonio Express-News. San Antonio, Texas. p. 1A.
  24. ^ Mendoza, Madalyn (December 28, 2020). "Tacos Jimenez, once owned by Flaco Jimenez, getting a second life in San Antonio". San Antonio Express-News. San Antonio, Texas. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  25. ^ "Un Mojado Sin Licencia and Other Hits From the 1960s : Liner notes" (PDF). Folkways-media.si.edu. Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  26. ^ "Special Merit Awards: Class Of 2015|GRAMMY.com". Grammy.com. December 18, 2014. Archived from the original on February 11, 2017. Retrieved June 9, 2015.
  27. ^ "Artist: Flaco Jimenez". Grammy.com. Recording Academy. n.d. Retrieved February 2, 2021.
  28. ^ a b "2011: 31st Tejano Music Awards Winnners". Tejano Music Awards. Texas Talent Musicians Association. 2011. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  29. ^ Saldaña, Hector (March 21, 2001). "Artists honored: Awards recognize Texas musicians, actors and authors". San Antonio Express-News. San Antonio, Texas. p. Metro / South Texas section, 8B.
  30. ^ "Texas Medal of the Arts Awards". Texas Almanac. Texas State Historical Association. 2018. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  31. ^ Fensterstock, Alison (September 27, 2014). "Rock, soul, and R&B shone in Nashville's temples of twang at Americana Fest 2014". The Times-Picayune. New Orleans, Louisiana. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  32. ^ Powers, Ann (September 25, 2014). "Roots, Plugged In". NPR.
  33. ^ "ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2014". Austin City Limits. November 21, 2014. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  34. ^ Saldaña, Hector (November 24, 2015). "Distinction in the Arts award honors locals". San Antonio Express-News. San Antonio, Texas. p. Metro section, 2A.
  35. ^ "The 14th Annual Independent Music Awards Winners Announced". Independent Music Awards. July 16, 2015. Retrieved February 2, 2021.
  36. ^ "Newly Installed Portraits Displayed at the National Portrait Gallery" (Press release). Targeted News Service. November 7, 2017.
  37. ^ "Flaco Jiménez". National Portrait Gallery. Smithsonian Institution. n.d. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  38. ^ Dansby, Andrew (August 10, 2018). "The Greatest 50 Texas Musicians ever". Houston Chronicle. Houston, Texas. p. D8. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  39. ^ Lozano, Jayme (September 27, 2019). "Lubbock to host CMA of Texas Awards at Cook's Garage". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Lubbock, Texas.
  40. ^ Saldaña, Hector (April 10, 2019). "A Musical treasure: accordion king Flaco Jimenez still rules city's music scene". The Southside Reporter. San Antonio, Texas. p. SR014.
  41. ^ "Arhoolie Awards 2020". Arhoolie Foundation. 2020. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  42. ^ "National Recording Registry Adds 'Rhythm Nation' Among 25 New Selections". Library of Congress. Retrieved March 25, 2021.

External links Edit