This is my father’s accordion, which he acquired after trading an old keyboard (piano) back in the 80’s when he first arrived in the United States. This accordion is in my fondest memories while growing up listening to my dad play. It is a reminder of how we survived and how work did not have to mean being a day laborer. The accordion represented this outlier in my community and allowed me to think that the arts were a possibility even for a modest small family living in a trailer. A musical education though seen in the United States as possibly a liberal arts education, in Mexico it is seen as another way to make a modest, but insecure income. The accordion, a European instrument, became a popular instrument in Mexico. Though instruments crossing borders is not a new phenomenon it is important to note that my dad played the piano and only through the necessity of portability he came to play the accordion. In modern use, the button accordion is most popular accordion in the regional music scene, but my dad plays the piano accordion. This made him an idiosyncrasy in the plethora of other accordion players. In addition to this, his cosmopolitan taste in music made him more than a musician of one style. From Bossa Nova to even arias, that Pavarotti would be proud to accompany, accordion shaped my culture and my interests. The accordion provided me with the possibility to pursue my artistic dreams and build my base as a musician, even though I do not play the accordion.
– Luis Rodriguez