The Ramirez family of San Diego, Texas has no shortage of Conjunto talent. From Dad Pico on down to his musical sons, It’s in their blood. It’s second nature. It’s their heartbeat.
Joe Ramirez is no exception. Growing up, the accordionist and now bandleader got a front row seat to watch his father as a Gambler, second voice and bajo sexto to the legendary Ruben Naranjo. Along with his brothers, young Joe was around the accordion legend constantly, watching his technique, studying the master, and learning the squeezebox himself. While his brothers tended to pick up the family instrument, bajo sexto, Joe focused on the accordion.
Over the years, Joe has performed alongside his brothers (especially twin brother Benny) and father in various bands, including Poder de Tejas and now his own group, Joe Ramirez y Su Conjunto. This project is one near and dear to his heart, as he has intentionally remained faithful to the original Gambler style: simple but elegant accordion, pure harmonies, and unrelenting rhythm.
Joe released his first album with this group, “El Hijo del Original Gambler Pico Ramirez” in 2015, which featured many of the songs that Pico and Ruben made famous. The album was very well received by hardcore conjunto fans, particularly those who love the Alice, Texas-style, and the group has been back in the studio, with a new album due out sometime this year.
PHOTO CREDIT: BOB ZINK