Lorenzo Martinez has had a great influence in the Conjunto community and on many young and old accordion players. His passion for the music began at the age of 10 when his grandfather bought him his first accordion and since that day Lorenzo has yet to put it down.
Lorenzo began teaching at the age of 11 years old which made him a role model for many other young people at a young age. He has taught kids from 6 to 70 and has been an instructor for the Conjunto Heritage Taller for several years.
Lorenzo Martinez currently plays accordion with Los Dukes de Oscar Machado. Recently Lorenzo has released a cd with Panchito Villarreal entitled Pancho y Lore and Old School Polkas Del Ghost Town via Spring Fed Records.
Bene Medina, Accordion Instructor
Born in Raymondville. Texas in 1939, Bene Medina began playing the accordion at the age of 13, and by the time he was 18, he had started his own conjunto. After serving in the US Army for 2 years, he returned to South Texas, and in 1964 moved to San Antonio, where he has lived since then. He worked at a local utility for 30 years and was the second Mexican American journeyman to become an electrician therein, but always continued his involvement in music. He formed Bene Medina y Conjunto Aguila in 1965, and still actively leads that band. Bene also taught accordion at a local music store for seven years before coming to teach at the Conjunto Heritage Taller almost 15 years ago. After a brief absence we are very happy to welcome Bene Medina back to the Taller, where he will once again be teaching accordion.
Roberto Casillas, Bajo Sexto Instructor
Our bajo sexto class is under the direction of former student and recent college graduate, Roberto Casillas. He recently received his degree in music from Texas State University and has returned to San Antonio to perform with various mariachis and conjuntos in town. We are very proud of Roberto’s accomplishments and glad that he has joined the Taller’s team of talented instructors.
Jesse Borrego Sr., Bajo Sexto Assistant Instructor
Jesse Borrego started playing professionally in 1956 while still attending Harlandale High School. After winning a local radio contest, he went on to record several single 45 rpm’s. In the 50s and 60s, Jesse Sr. earned his stripes with his extremely fluid style of making his right-hand fingers dance on his three-row Hohner button accordion. He headed his own band, Los Cuatro Aces de Tejas, playing on the local and national scene through the early 70s. He performed with his son’s band, Los Muertos, throughout most of the 90s and was invited by the late Valerio Longoria to play bass for his band when Longoria was featured on a PBS special. Recently, he has played accordion and bass for the Rio Rami Band. Conjunto Los Borregos is Jesse Borrego Sr. and Jesse Borrego Jr.’s latest project.