Flaco Jiménez — the 73-year-old accordionist who brought Tex-Mex flavor to the music of Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Ry Cooder and others — will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2015 Grammys.
Jiménez, who gained mainstream popularity as a member of the crossover bands The Texas Tornados and Los Super Seven, is a five-time Grammy Award winner. Distinguished accordion manufacturer Hohnor created the Corona II Flaco Jimenez Signature Model in his honor.
The only Latin artist to receive the career Grammy tribute this year, Jimenez will be honored alongside the Bee Gees, Pierre Boulez, Buddy Guy, George Harrison, the Louvin Brothers and Wayne Shorter at a ceremony the day before the Feb. 8 awards show.
The son of pioneering conjunto musician Santiago Jiménez Sr., Jiménez is a San Antonio, TX, native who started playing accordion at the age of five. He was performing by the time he was seven, and has recorded over 14 albums as a soloist. In 2014, Smithsonian Folkways released Flaco & Max: Legends & Legacies, on which he performs with Max Baca of Los Texmaniacs.
“Conjunto music was born here in the United States,” Jiménez once said in an interview with PBS, talking about the sound commonly known as Tejano or Tex-Mex. “Sometimes there is confusion — just because we come from Mexican descent doesn’t mean it came from Mexico…I started making conjunto more progressive because of the versatility I believe in… So I decided, ‘Hey, I think it’s good to change it a little, and instead of just that conjunto sound…it’s going to sound a little more rockish, more jazzier and more bilingual. I think bilingual music is more interesting, so people know what the sound is about.”