Yesterday marks eight years since the passing of Tejano and Conjunto legend Esteban ‘Steve’ Jordan.
“El Parche,” a nickname because of his trademark eye patch, could play 35 different instruments, but was known as the “Jimi Hendrix of the accordion.”
His first official recording sessions were in 1963, featuring a group fronted by the Conjunto Hall of Famer and his wife, singer Virginia Martinez. He had actually been featured on a 78 rpm recording made in San Jose, CA, in the late ’50s, part of a prize for best young Conjunto performer.
Unlike many Conjunto musicians, Jordan kept up with technological advancements, using devices such as phase shifters, fuzz boxes, and synthesizers. He had a unique style, adding bits of fusion jazz and rock into his music. His sound was strong and vivid, “literally jumping out of the grooves,” as one writer once described Jordan’s music.
Jordan grabbed a Grammy nomination for his album Turn Me Loose in 1986, but lost to his old friend Flaco Jimenez.
“El Parche” battled cancer for four years and died of liver complications on August 13, 2010, at the age of 71.
“August 13 marks eight years since the passing and crossing over to the cosmos of our beloved EL Jefe, the one and only original Accordion alchemist, Lyric innovator and international LATIN music world inspiration…’EL PARCHE’ Esteban ‘Steve’ Jordan,” his son Esteban Jordan III wrote on his Facebook page on Sunday. “In honor of his legacy and in celebration of his music, we encourage you to PLAY IT LOUD and sing out Tejano Proud like a prayer!”
We echo those sentiments here at Tejano Nation as we honor the Tejano and Conjunto legend on the eighth anniversary of his passing with a great tribute mix from Tejano Network’s Eddie Olivo.
Listen to a Steve Jordan tribute mix by Eddie Olivo