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El Tule brings Latin flavor to Victoria

By by camille m. doty/
June 13, 2012 at 1:13 a.m.

El Tule

Victoria will get a taste of salsa, cumbia and merengue on Saturday.

El Tule will sprinkle some Latin-based flavor to the Golden Gecko.

The Austin-based band has performed at the Tropical Heat Wave Festival in Tampa, Fla., opening for the Gipsy Kings, and served as the house band for Carlos Santana's restaurant, "Maria Maria." They now perform at the venue once a month.

The group has recorded two full-length albums Volumen 1" and "Volumen II," which are available on iTunes and

Victoria native Joseph Ledesma looks forward to performing in the city that sprouted his musical roots. He humbly accepts his return.

"I don't feel like a celebrity by any means, but it feels good to come home," said Ledesma, who started playing in the sixth grade.

He fell in love with the trumpet.

"That instrument has the most power to me," he said.

The 26-year-old University of North Texas graduate joined the band last year with the encouragement of his friend. He described the transition as natural.

Trombone player Gilbert "Max" Garza said each member has their own style, but it works.

"When it all comes together, it sounds amazing," he said.

Garza, who is also from Victoria, said the band performs mostly original music.

Some of their fan favorites include "Tres Viudas," a story of three widows dancing in San Antonio; "La Ruta Maya," a tribute to the famed Mayan Route; and "Mi Nino," a song that reminds someone of a colorful childhood life on the border.

Their unique flavor appealed to Promoter Joey Sandoval. Sandoval played El Tule's music during salsa night and received positive feedback from patrons.

"When I saw that response, I said, 'We gotta have them,"' he said.

Sandoval also said it is a positive thing to have good musicians come back to Victoria.

This will be Ledesma's first time performing with this band in the Crossroads.

"I really enjoy what I do," he said.



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