PNTMA TEJANO PRIDE OF THE NORTHWEST
SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD 2015
Juan Manuel Barco
Was born in Coal Mine, Texas to a migrant family who made yearly work treks to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, Oklahoma, Arizona and California. His Parents bought him a guitar when he was 6 yrs old and he figured out how to play it.
The family settled in the Santa Clara Valley in California….Juan continued to play the guitar but fell in love with a 1957 Martin Macias Bajo Sexto that his brother Reynaldo gave to him and the latest conjunto music at that time. He taught himself to play and began to perform with local conjuntos, Andy Martinez, Teodoro Mata, Ray Balderas and Ezequiel Soza. Eventually he formed his own band Juan Barco y su Conjunto with Ruben Loredo on Accordion, Noe Falcon on Bass and Rafael Sanchez on drums. The conjunto was well received and an LP was recorded with Fama Records. Two 45’s were released, including one of Juan’s songs entitled, “Mi Alegre Conjunto”. He had already composed a few songs…some would be recorded later by mainstream Conjuntos and Orchestras from Texas. Juan Manuel was drafted into the US Army and the conjunto disbanded. He served from 1965 to 1967. Before he was discharged he joined the Joel Guzman Conjunto out of Sunnyside, Washington. He performed with them for awhile but also played with Conjunto Del Mar, and later Inspiracion. He returned with Joel Guzman and played off and on until the late seventies. He also played with La Unica, Salvador Vijarro and Esmeralda, Los Vagos, Canela, Eddie Rodriguez. He formed his own band in the the early 90’s. It was a trio…Andy Gonzalez on the Accordion, Lupe Guzman on the Bajo Sexto and Juan Manuel played Bass. Later Juan Gonzalez joined the group on bass and Juan Manuel switched to guitar. The conjunto played with drums or without depending on the venue. The Juan Manuel Barco Conjunto was the most successful of all the groups he had played in. He performed in Hundreds of schools, Universities, Colleges. Major conferences, Theater Concerts, Festivals like Bumbershoot, NorthwestFolk Life, Opening of Benaroya Hall I Seattle, The EMP at the Seattle Center, The Poetry Festival in New York, City,
Cinco de Mayo festival in Portland Oregon, Lyle Hampton jazz Festival in Moscow Idaho, Endowment for the Arts Awards in Washington DC,
National Endowment for the Arts in Butte, Montana. Performed in Festival in MCArthur Park in Los Angeles, CA. Fiddle Tunes Festival in Port Townsend WA, All the Major Parks for the State of Washington.
Please visit the Juan Manuel Barco Website