Denver’s Chicano Music Hall of Fame Inductee Celebration A Great Time For All

2016 Chicano Hall of Fame inductees: Daniel Valdez, songstress and bandleader Maxine Medina Delgado, who for years was a pioneer bandleader with Maxine and Company. The remaining legacy inductees, whose work stretches back into the 1940s, includes veterans Phil Trujillo (Phil Trujillo y Los Matadors). Mitch Garcia (Mitch Garcia y los Unicos) and the Five Diamonds.

92 year old Eva Nuanez electrified the audience with her violin and singing of her favorite Chicano/Mexicano songs. Nuanez, who has been playing her music in Denver since the early 1940’s, was the very first inductee to the Chicana Music Hall of Fame 20 years ago.

Photos by Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver Media. See complete gallery below

It was a great evening to recognize and celebrate the passion of local Chicano icons that have dedicated their lives to their music and their community. Many supporters turned out to the Su Teatro Performance Center at 721 Santa Fe Drive in Denver for an incredible night of music, food and a really good time. Latin Life Denver Media was pleased to be a media sponsor along with KUVO Radio.

This year’s 2016 class of inductees to the Chicano Music Hall of Fame included recording artist Daniel Valdez who has recorded with Linda Ronstadt, toured with Carlos Santana and acted with Richard Pryor, Michael Douglas, Jack Lemmon and Jane Fonda. Tony Garcia, Artistic Director for Su Teatro said that although Valdez resides in California, he has made Denver his second home and has and is making significant contributions to preserving Colorado Chicano music history.

Former inductee Freddy Rodriquez Sr along with his son Freddy Rodriquez Jr. got the party started with some of their favorite jazzy numbers.



The Chicano Music Hall of Fame was created to recognize artists who have made significant contributions to the musical traditions of Colorado. The focus has been to recognize those that have helped to raise the consciousness toward the “music that was borne in Mexico but raised in the United States”.

Festival goers were also treated to an amazing performance of music from Veracruz, Mexico by Colectivo Altetee who reside in southern Veracruz but are in Denver performing each day of the weekend long festival.

The induction will took place in conjunction with the 20th Annual Chicano Music Festival and Auction on July 28th which included performances from Daniel Valdez, Maxine Medina, Freddy Rodriguez Sr, & Jr. In addition, there is an exhibit featuring memorabilia and mementos from enshrined members of the Chicano Music Hall of Fame. The Chicano Music Festival and Auction is celebrating its 20th year. The festival runs through

July 31 2016. (For full schedule visit Su Teatro website


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Daniel Valdez is a musician and composer who although he has performed nationally and toured internationally and is originally from California actually has called Colorado his second home for the last 16 years. His roots in Colorado go back to his participation in activities with the Crusade for Justice. An early highlight was the live production of America de los Indios performed by Daniel Valdez and Menyah recorded in November of 1975 at the old KRMA studio on 14th and Glenarm.

Daniel continued his relationship with Colorado where he chose to put its history to music composing The Westside Oratorio with Su Teatro in 2006 and the SoMaxine and companyng of Pueblo with History Colorado at the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center. (The production still continues to tour.) He has also been a teacher at the Escuela Tlatelolco and guest lecturer at Regis University.  Geraldine Gonzales, wife of the late Corky Gonzales presented Valdez with his award stating “Somebody has to keep him in line.”

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Maxine Medina Delgado was the lead singer for her band Maxine and Company that, throughout the 1990s and 2000s, was the dominant female led, Latino band during that time period. Maxine’s versatility allowed her to switch genres from R & B and Soul to rancheras and cumbias effortlessly. She innovatively updated many of the traditional Mexican dance music to include more jazz instrumentation’s.

Phil Trujillo was the longtime leader of Phil Trujillo and the Matadors. Known as “El Amonico”, Phil started his own band at 17 and has been playing for the last 58 years. He was a self-taught musician who hand scored his music sheets and band arrangements.

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His recorded albums are testimony to his virtuosity; they are evidence that over his career Phil Trujillo has always produced at significant high quality. In short Phil’s bands, whether it be Phil Trujillo and the Matadors, Phil Trujillo and his Orchestra, Phil and Matador Mariachi Serenade de Phil Trujillo, were always a group that was to be admired and respect as among the best that Colorado had to offer.

Mitch Garcia has been playing Spanish music, Chicano style, his entire career. Mitch’s performance venues include such legendary entities as the GAO ballroom where he appeared; and the former the KFSC radio shows for the late Paco Sanchez as well as his local television broadcasts. He formed and led Los Unicos, a powerhouse group that included CMHOF inductees the late trumpeter Tony Falcon, and the versatile John Segura,

The Five Diamonds led by singer Elviñ Arias recorded and provided Colorado is one of the states th0-Five-Diamondsat was

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once part of Mexico. But Colorado also carries traditions that reach beyond that time into the period of Spanish Colonialism and further back into native and pre-European traditions as well. All of which is evident in the music of the Chicano community throughout the state. If the mainstream music of Colorado is eclectic, the bilingual-bicultural experience is even more so.


Su Teatro’s 20th Annual Chicano Music Festival will take place July 28-31; an anniversary celebration that brings out the very best in music, art and culture. Tickets are on sale now; prices for Festival passes are $45; individual event tickets vary. Call (303) 296-0219 or www.sCMF_Logo_2016 (1) (1)


Photo by Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver Media