Arts center continues focusing on talent

San Benito city limits

SAN BENITO — The Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center begins its 2016 season focusing on bajo sexto artist Gilberto “Chore” Perez Jr. 

He will be accompanied by Juan Antonio Tapia on accordion during the Chicken Club monthly jam session.

“The bajo sexto is considered the primary companion instrument to the accordion in the conjunto ensemble,” said coordinator Soledad A. Núñez.

“It was Santiago Almeida, the bajo sexto player with Narciso Martinez, who firmly established the bajo sexto as this principal instrument.”

The Chicken Club is the name of a group of conjunto musicians who gather every month for informal jam sessions.

They will meet tomorrow from 6:45 to 8:45 p.m. at the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center, 225 E. Stenger St.

The club is not an organization, for example, a nonprofit organization with by-laws or a formal structure.

The other rule is that those who attend Chicken Club gatherings must participate either by singing, playing an instrument or holding conversations with the guests.

The core value of the Chicken Club is to provide a space where people can share conversation and music among one another.

For nearly 24 years, the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center has served as a liaison, advocate and promoter for local folk musicians and artists.

The center takes this opportunity to bring value to these musicians who keep the border tradition alive, educate the community, find venues for these musicians and further package the cultural offerings of the region for the continued development of cultural tourism.

The Chicken Club will host every third Thursday “Conjunto Nites at the Chicho” through the year.

A $5 donation is suggested at the door.