restricted access Squeezebox Poetics: Locating Afromestizaje in Esteban Jordan’s Texas Conjunto Performance

This essay analyzes the music and stylization of the legendary Texas conjunto accordionist Esteban Jordan and relies on the concept of afromestizaje to examine the overlap between mestizaje and African diasporic imaginaries. In his music, Jordan performs ranchera and polka arrangements of rural Texas Mexican conjunto infused with blues, jazz, and soul classics, thus demonstrating black and Chicana/o transculturation. Often donning flamboyant “Super Fly” apparel, Jordan also challenges conjunto stylistic traditions that presuppose ranchera/cowboy attire situated in rural south Texas. Jordan’s music and his image inscribe an overlap of mestizo and African diasporic imaginaries existing in the borderlands—a route to theorize the fusion of marginalized black and brown subjects in the history of Texas’s colonial figuration.