The King of the Accordion
Yes!! There is a king of the accordion and his name is Ramon Ayala.
Ayala, a four-time Grammy winner packed Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s summer amphitheater for the second year in a row on Friday night.
The 66 year old Ayala is a legend of norteño music and is one of the most recognized and best-selling artists of the genre.
Ayala played to norteño and tejano fans from both sides of the border, with fans singing along to every song. While I have no idea what the hell he was singing, I found it thoroughly entertaining as he worked his magic on the mostly older crowd.
Ayala arrived on stage with his trademark green, white and red accordion. The crowd erupted in cheers and several individuals made their way up to the stage to pay tribute to the man.
Now as anyone who knows me will tell you, I am NOT a fan of the accordion, but I have to say when Ayala is playing its pretty spectacular to listen to.
Ayala was joined on stage by his band, known as Bravos del Norte. Band members were Mario Marichalar (bajo sexton and vocals), Fidencio Ayala (bass), Jose Luis Ayala (drums and vocals), David Laure (percussion) and Raul Rosales (emcee and percussion).
Ayala played a number of his hits including “Mi Piquito de Oro,” a Latin version of “Cotton Fields,” and “Un Puno de Tierra,” which had the entire audience on their feet.
Since I didn’t understand what was being said it was interesting watching the crowd’s reaction to, not only the music, but the dialog as emcee Rosales shouted out to the crowd. Apparently they were taking requests from audience members.
Midway through the performance Thunder Valley Casino gave away an autographed accordion signed the legendary performer. Audience member Lorenzo won the accordion and he was able to go onstage to collect his prize and meet the man himself.