Rancho Alegre Conjunto Festival Artist Spotlight: Los Enmascarados

Los EnmascaradosLos Enmascarados are based out of Kingsville, Texas. Bandleader, JD Los Enmascarados, started pursuing music at a young age. Music was always a part of JD's life. His father was a musician and his brother was the drummer for Showband USA. He first began learning how to play the drums at 12 years old and pursued singing at 15. 

Music moved to the backburner for JD when he enlisted in the U.S. Army. After his military service ended at 19, JD became interested in learning the accordion. Determined to become proficient on the instrument, JD learned to play one finger at a time, literally. In 1986, he played his first dance in Rivera, Texas with what he knew on two fingers. At that time, JD was a novice player. He has come a long way since then. Overall, JD has over 40 years of experience under his belt. 

JD started Los Enmascarados in 1998. For a time, the group was having a difficult time getting gigs outside of a 35-mile radius around their hometown. JD hatched a plan to set the group apart and Los Enmascarados was born. Today, Los Enmascarados are well known for wearing customized luchador masks at live performances. Initially, there were benefits and drawbacks to such a strategy. Very much like in the luchador tradition, the mask gives Los Enmascarados a certain mistique about them. Members wear their mask with a sense of pride and enjoy the added benefit on anonimity. Of course, Los Enmascarados have had to fight off critiques pegging them as a gimmick band. Once you see Los Enmascarados perform though, you know they're legit!

Los Enmascarados have recorded on several record labels including Zarape (Kingsville, TX), Hacienda (Corpus Christi, TX) Tejas (San Antonio, TX), & Joey (San Antonio, TX). They've done several notable collaborations including an album with the incomparable, Nick Villarreal. Los Enmascarados even did a KISS-like reveal, finally removing their masks in public, in conjunction with their 2015 album, "Revelado." Los Enmascarados influences include Los Hometown Boys, Los Hermanos Farias, and "El Parche," Steve Jordan.

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