Joe Posada, one of Tejano music’s most celebrated saxophonists, is also recognized as a timeless vocalist and a well-versed lyricist. As an accomplished composer, Posada has managed to successfully fuse the sounds of Jazz and Tejano by creating a melodic flow found intriguing by a wide range of music lovers.
Citing John Coltrane, Michael Brecker and Grover Washington as significant influences, Posada’s ability to integrate Jazz chord progressions and scatting into the polka beat has enabled Tejano music to advance to the multi-genre blend always claimed, but rarely achieved, by Tejano’s most loyal supporters.
A six-time Tejano Award and four-timeTejano Academy Award winner, native San Antonian, Posada, was born in 1954, the same year orchestra leader, Isidro Lopez integrated accordions with his ensemble in Alice, TX, a historic event in the birth of what is now called Tejano music. Raised in the predominantly Hispanic West Side San Antonio, he began his saxophone studies at age 12.
Though his parents were not musicians, Posada’s mother was determined to encourage her son’s study of music, a clever ploy to deter a young Joe from spending time with potentially negative influences.
Once he made a name for himself by way of talent shows and neighborhood groups, Posada was able to progress and gain notoriety playing with local groups Rudy Tee and the Reno-Bops and Zapata. In 1973, during what author, Ramiro Burr calls Tejano’s Golden Age, Posada graduated to the Royal Jesters, a premier Onda Chicana act of the moment.
In addition to playing sax, Posada contributed his talents assisting with musical arrangements. This growth has Posada credited with remaining on the progressive side of Tejano, emphasizing a preference of wind instruments to accordion.
Posada came into his own as a composer on the 1993’s Breakaway, for which he composed all tracks. Widening his range for his listeners, he recorded a salsa track, a sax instrumental and the Jazz-Soul title track. It was Posada’s 1994 release, “Canción Para Mi Padre,” (Song For My Father) that found him unifying Jazz and Polka seamlessly, a creative endeavor magnifying his talents and setting him aside from the conventional cookie-cutter bands.
“Con Un Cachito,” “Ya No,” and “Caen Por Caen” are nationwide hits and the recently released “Amor Y Fuego,” collection of 12 original tracks continues to be recognized by the public as one of Posada’s more recent musical accomplishments with receiving a 2006 Latin Grammy nomination. 2005 was also an energizing year for Posada with his induction into the Tejano Roots Hall of Fame and his Grammy nomination for his compilation, “Then and Now.”
Posada’s musical plate is always overflowing with delectable treats that have the public wanting more. Currently, Posada is touring and performing in an effort to promote his latest CD, “Despacito,” which has also won a 2007 Latin Grammy nomination. Just for kicks, Mr. Posada has also released, in 2007, “Jazzano” an all-Jazz CD. In addition to playing various San Antonio venues, there are the many local conventions, Jazz clubs and festivals, a wide variety of hosts welcoming of the versatility and unique Latino brew that defines Joe Posada as an unequalled musical success.
From the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame and the Houston Astrodome to Rocco’s in Belaire, California and Las Vegas, Nevada, Posada’s efforts continue to quench those thirsty souls who seemingly are never quite satiated with the all too common drones escaping radio airwaves and unmatched by Posada’s passion for music. Being a seasoned musician, Posada continues as one of the more sought out modern-day músicos whose expertise illuminates even the bigger stages.