SAN BENITO — The daughter of a conjunto pioneer will be the featured vocalist during the next 3rd Thursday Conjunto Nights at the Chicho.
Melissa Guerra will perform at the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center Thursday at 6:45 p.m. There will be light refreshments and finger food available. The cost is $5 at the door.
Born in 1954 into a musical family of pioneering conjunto accordionist Ernesto Guerra, Melissa was surrounded by music at a very early age.
By the time she was 4, she already was singing and was on the road with her father, who was touring the United States as an early conjunto artist. She was in California, Illinois, Louisiana and Texas.
As a youngster, Melissa would sing with her father, and by the time she was 14, she already was performing vocals with the likes of Mazz in Alice. That’s where she would connect with Tejano Roots founder Javier Villanueva.
Throughout her life, she would find herself connected with other well recognized groups like La Mafia, Jaime de Anda y Los Chamacos, Texas Country and Los Desperados.
One of her biggest musical influences was Laura Canales, who is considered one of the best female Tejano music vocalists.
Melissa’s musical repertoire ranges from country western, rhythm and blues to Tejano and the conjunto style of her father is deeply ingrained in her soul.
In 2011, she was featured as one of the female artists for the 20th annual Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center Conjunto Festival, which focused on the female artists in conjunto music.
Melissa was a regular in Rio Grande City at Fort Ringgold, of the late businessman and founder of Valley Mart, Pete Diaz.
Melissa has two sons and a daughter. She makes wood benches for a living.