EDINBURG — The first Musica Tejana ensembles to “go electric” originated a new music scene powered by electric guitar, electric bass and full drum sets. Evaliza Fuentes will present “The 1950s and the Birth of the Modern Tejano Music Scene” on Sunday, July 28, at 2 p.m. for the Museum of South Texas History’s Sunday Speaker Series program.

Icons of the electric genres of rhythm and blues and honky-tonk have been well documented by Texas historians, while the electrification of Musica Tejana remains mostly uncharted. 

“The importance of electrical amplification in Tejano music reaches beyond sound, as its effect reverberates in a dynamic social and cultural intersection of music, dance and youth in the Mexican American experience,” Fuentes said. Examples of early recordings to feature electric instruments include Bonny y Sus Bonnevilles with “Monterrey Polka” and Manuel Donley’s “Ojitos Verdes.”

Fuentes, originally from Brownsville, attended the University of Texas at Austin and received a bachelor’s of art in history. In 2013, she completed her master’s degree from Texas State University with her quantitative study, “Spanish Language Music Consumption in Central Texas: Taste and Preferences.” Her academic and career goal is the preservation and conservation of Musica Tejana. 

Sunday Speaker Series is included in the fee for regular museum admission. FRIENDS of MOSTHistory are admitted free as a benefit of FRIENDship and must present their FRIENDship card at the Admissions Desk.