The Clewiston News

Local band wins Tejano Music Award in San Antonio

Juan Jose Rodriguez accepts the Best New Male Artist award with fellow Bajo Zero members.

“What brought us together was the love of music. We don’t think it’s a coincidence we got together and are still together. The love of music brought us together and keeps us together,” said Fabian Flores, one part of a six-man band that recently won a prestigious award in San Antonio, Texas.

Bajo Zero is a Tejano band made up of musicians from across South and Central Florida, including Clewiston, Immokalee, Wauchula and Plant City.

The band was founded in 2010 by bassist Flores and percussionist Nick Dimas. Clewiston native Tre Herrera, who plays accordion, joined soon thereafter, followed by singer Juan Jose Rodriguez, drummer Guillermo “Memo” Lara and Christian Dimas, who plays the bajo quinto.

Tejano music was born in Central and Southern Texas, originating among the Mexican-American populations who lived there. There are various categories of Tejano music, each with its own unique instruments and influences.

Flores says Bajo Zero progressive Tejano, utilizing the accordion and bajo quinto (which looks like an oversized acoustic guitar but with five courses of doubled steel strings).

After putting out an album last year, Bajo Zero was invited to San Antonio this year to the Tejano Music Awards, which Flores describes as the Country Music Awards of Tejano Music. Bajo Zero was nominated for Best New Group and its singer, Rodriguez, was nominated for Best New Male Artist, which he won.

“To hear our singers name and our name, and to hear the crowd going crazy, it was amazing,” said Flores. “It feels amazing, and I’m speaking for Juan because it was his category, but we’re all brothers. It was a sense of accomplishment.”

Bajo Zero is the first Florida-based band to win a Tejano Music Award.

The band travels on the weekends to various shows throughout Florida and the southern United States, bringing their unique Florida blend of Tejano music to the stage.

The band was recently in Clewiston playing for a Quinceanera at the John Boy Auditorium last month. Herrera, who now lives in Immokalee but whose family still resides in Clewiston, says playing at the John Boy brought back many memories from his childhood.

Herrera graduated from Clewiston High School in 2008 and joined Bajo Zero a couple years after graduation. He learned the accordion as a child after becoming interested watching his uncle play. His uncle taught him the basics and Herrera spent his youth playing basketball and the accordion in his free time.

Like all members of Bajo Zero, Herrera is constantly on the road playing gigs with the band to gain the experience and recognition they will need to continue their path to success.

After winning the prestigious Tejano Music Award, Flores says the Latin Grammy’s are next on the band’s list.