Grammy award winning group Little Joe y La Familia will be hosting their first show this year in the Valley on Friday, July 24, at El Gallito Ballroom located off of Highway 107 on Val Verde Road in east Edinburg.
The show may also be the group’s only performance in the Valley as their tour winds through various dates in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona before ending in San Jose, Calif. on Sept. 26, where the group hosts Carlos Santana and Los Lobos at the HP Center.
“We are always excited to come to the Valley,” said ‘Little Joe’, whose real name is Jose Maria DeLeon Hernandez. “Every time we have been there we have had sold out events so I’m looking forward to another sold out show.”
Little Joe has been entertaining for more than 40 years and has been described as the “king of the brown sound,” according to the band’s online history.
Hernandez’s music is considered, a mix of traditional “norteno” music, country blues and rock styles making Little Joe & La Familia one of the most popular Tex-Mex bands in the industry.
The group’s album “Before The Next Teardrop Falls” won a Grammy as 2008’s Tejano Album of the Year.
“This is something for the fans and the entertainer…we display our culture through our music and to future generations,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez began his career in music in 1953 when his cousin, David Coronado, who fronted the band “David Coronado & The Latinaires” recruited Hernandez to play guitar. Also in the band were Cino Moreno on drums and Tony Matamoros on saxophone.
That band would eventually become “Little Joe & The Latinaires” following Coronado’s departure and the arrival of Hernandez’s brother Jesse on bass and vocals in 1959.
Tragically Jesse was killed in an automobile accident in 1964, where Hernandez made a vow to carry his music forward.
Shortly afterwards, Hernandez then discovered what he called “Latinismo” in 1970, after playing and spending much time in San Francisco and the bay area, and realizing that a strong Latin musical world which was not found in Texas at the time. The pursuit of his roots and his heritage prompted him to change the name of his band from The Latinaires to “La Familia” during the seventies.
“I’ve grown along with the fans and the music is always fresh because we are always willing to experiment with it,” Hernandez said.
Tickets to the show are $15 and can be purchased at Alex Boot Repair in Edinburg, Charlie’s Meat Market in Elsa, Meme’s Music in McAllen, JP’s Meat Market in Alamo, Lionel’s Western Wear in Weslaco or by calling 956-414-4760.