Music News 8.2.17

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Music News 8.2.17

Posted by on Aug 2, 2017

Austin Accordion Prodigy Anthony Ortiz Jr. Loses Battle With Cancer at 24

Austin lost one of its rising greats on Monday. Accordion prodigy Anthony Ortiz Jr. lost his battle with cancer, passing away at only 24 years old. Known around town as Mr. Squeezebox, Oritz, an Austin native and graduate of Austin High, picked-up the accordion at the age of ten, and the rest is history. He competed in statewide competitions including Folklife’s Big Squeeze and was a private instructor to not only children in the

Known around town as Mr. Squeezebox, Oritz, an Austin native and graduate of Austin High, picked-up the accordion at the age of ten, and the rest is history. He competed in statewide competitions including Folklife’s Big Squeeze and was a private instructor to not only children in the community but to his own father too, Anthony Ortiz Jr, who also put the instrument in his son’s hands in the first place. “I taught him once song, but soon he exceeded me and became my teacher.”

Ortiz Jr. garnered a loyal fan base in the local scene while performing with mariachi and country groups, most notably Mariachi Corbetas with his own father and grandfather and local country outfit Crooks, who have joined us in our Studio 1A several times, with Ortiz’s skills not only on the squeezebox but also as an animated, high-energy performer being a prominent memory shared by us here at KUTX.

Crooks, leaden with heavy hearts, posted a warm remembrance of Ortiz saying, “To us, he was the shining example of optimism, youth, happiness, love, unbending friendship, humor, and most of all good will. What he gave us when he entered our lives was a direct reflection of who he was, and for that, we are better people and extraordinarily lucky.” Memorial services for Ortiz are pending.

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