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Stroman Middle School graduate sets eyes on statewide accordion prize

By Camille Doty
June 2, 2011 at 1:02 a.m.

Joseph Garcia, 13, will compete in the 22nd annual Accordion Kings & Queens competition on Saturday in Houston.

Get to know Joseph Garcia:

His family: mother Carol Garcia; father Johnny Garcia Sr.; brother Johnny Garcia Jr.; sister Vanessa Garcia

His band: Los Conjunto Kidz - Aaron Garcia, bajo sexto, 16; Alec Sanchez, drummer, 11; Gustavo DeLosSantos, bass, 17.

His inspirations: Manuel Garcia Sr., his grandfather; Valerio Longoria and Steve Jordan. All accordion players.

Joseph Garcia is an easy-going teenager who enjoys playing the accordion.

"I like the noise," he said.

And for the last three years, Joseph and his accordion have been able to make beautiful music together.

Joseph and his beloved instrument spend five hours of quality time every week. He said that he learned to play by listening.

His dedication paid off because on Saturday, he will play in a statewide competition. An estimated 6,000 people will watch him at the Miller Outdoor Theatre in Houston.

If he wins the 22nd annual Accordion Kings & Queens competition, he will receive a new accordion, recording time and $1,000.

The modest Stroman Middle School graduate said he only shared the news with a few friends. "They support me. They wish me the best."

Carol Garcia, Joseph's mother, is looking forward to the competition.

"I think we're more nervous than he is. But this has been a good experience for him." She also said Joseph, her youngest son, is just doing what he loves.

Joseph said he has experimented with other instruments including the guitar, bass, bajo sexto, and the drums. But the accordion is his favorite.

He said his grandfather, Manuel Garcia Sr., inspired him to play. "I would watch him on stage and I wanted to do what he did," Joseph said.

His grandfather was flattered.

"I'm so proud of my grandsons. Two play the accordion and one plays the bajo sexto." Joseph is in a band too - Los Conjunto Kidz.

Joseph's cousin, Christopher Garcia, is the other accordion player. He is 27 and still plays the accordion in a band.

Joseph, 13, said he was not forced to play. In fact, he approached his musical role model because he had a desire to learn.

His other inspirations are Valerio Longoria and Steve Jordan. "He (Jordan) is like the Jimi Hendrix of the accordion. He's awesome and one of the best," the aspiring musician said.

The Garcias will be at the competition to support Joseph. He said they will help to keep him calm and focused. If he wins, he said, "I want to have a big party with my family."

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