Sueño is a dynamic group of Mexican-American musicians who play traditional conjunto music, the energetic accordion-dominated sound so important to the Tejano and Chicano communities throughout the United States.
Sueño was born out of the desire of Cruz Rangel, the lead accordion and bajo sexto player, to pass his knowledge of the conjunto tradition on to young members of his community. As a master teacher under the Washington State Arts Commission Master/Apprentice program, Rangel tutored Ricky Rodriguez, who has become a virtuoso on the keyboards, accordion and bajo sexto (a 12-string bass-like instrument).
Rodriguez’s dedication to these instruments and conjunto music attracted the attention of his friends, Gabe Rocha, Saul Rocha and Mari Perales (ages 14-17 at the time), and Manuel Moreno Jr., who joined Rangel and Rodriguez to form Sueño. They were later joined by Cynthia Rangel (Cruz’s daughter), Jose Rocha, and Lupe Saenz Jr.
Their music includes traditional border ballads, lively polkas and intricate instrumental dance tunes, mixed with some contemporary popular conjunto tunes, a number of which were written by band members. The energy, enthusiasm and talent of these young performers is inspiring to audiences of any age and background. What makes the music of Sueño truly unique is the blend of generations and the blend of cultures.
The group can play traditional styles rarely heard this far north, drawing tremendous excitement from an older generation of Latino listeners. They can also hold the attention of younger American audiences by including contemporary styles, at the same time exposing a new generation of listeners to many important older styles of music. Grupo Sueño was part of Jack Straw’s Traditional Artist Support Program.