Music News

Chicano Music Hall of Fame Seeks Nominations

Last year's Chicano Music Hall of Fame induction concert.
Last year's Chicano Music Hall of Fame induction concert. Courtesy of Su Teatro.
Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center has put out a call for nominees to be inducted into the Chicano Music Hall of Fame.

The theater company formed the Hall of Fame in 2002; it comprises more than fifty nominees who have kept Spanish-language music alive. This year’s ceremony will take place as part of Su Teatro's Chicano Music Festival in July,

While the number of inductees has ranged from two to five every year since 2002, Debra Gallegos, executive associate at Su Teatro, says that the number in this year’s class, which will be announced in early July, depends on the nominations they receive.

“If somebody was nominated last year and they weren’t selected, we still continue to consider them,” she says. “We have a panel of musicians that have been inducted in the past, so they make the decision.”

Su Teatro executive artistic director Tony Garcia, who helped start the Chicano Music Hall of Fame, told Westword two years ago, “So many of these cats have played in obscurity forever. No one ever wanted to take the time to recognize their contributions. Our criteria is artists who have been innovative and original. These are amazing people who made these incredible contributions. When we induct them, we always hear things like, ‘I never knew anyone noticed what I was doing.’”

While being innovative in advancing Spanish-language music in Colorado is part of the criteria, so is longevity; some of the previous inductees have been performing around the state for three or four decades.

Last year’s class honored Conjunto Colores, Rafael “Raf” Lopez, Johnny “Ritmo” Rodriguez y Los Diamantes, Cristela Garcia and Robert “Rabbit” Jaramillo, a longtime Pueblo resident who co-founded Cannibal & the Headhunters, which opened for the Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1965 and had the hit “Land of 1000 Dances.”

“He’s still here in Pueblo with his family and singing and not doing a lot of performing,” Gallegos says of Jaramillo. “But it’s the coolest thing that we were able to induct him.”

The induction ceremony will be held on the second night of the Chicano Music Festival, which kicks off on Wednesday, July 25, and runs through Sunday, July 29. The festival includes a big jam session on Friday, July 27, with musicians sitting in a circle and doing a round-robin type of thing, while Saturday night will focus on pachanga bands and Sunday will wrap things up with mariachi acts.

“The reason we put it on is to make sure that we and our kids and grandkids and other people here in the city don’t forget about this beautiful musical history,” Gallegos says.


• Everyone in our community is encouraged to nominate a musician, a producer or even a physical or organizational entity that they feel represents a significant contributor to Chicano Music.
• The focus of the CMHOF is on Colorado musicians, so national musicians although influential are ineligible unless a significant portion of their work and influence was in Colorado.
• Only nominations submitted via email [email protected] by midnight June 30, 2018 will be accepted.
• Inductees will be announced in early July 2018.

Criteria for Evaluation:


• The committee seeks to recognize those who were pioneers in advancing Spanish language music here in Colorado.
• The committee has not defined longevity in terms of years, but is seeking to recognize contributors who have provided consistent or sustained activities over a period of time
• There is a desire on the committee’s part to honor musicians who may not be with us long and try to limit posthumous recognitions.


• How is the nominee one of a kind?
• What is the singular contribution that they introduced?
• Did they introduce a new genre, technique or style?


• What are the qualities that placed the nominee at the "top of their game”?

Your nominations should include the following:

1. Describe in detail how their musical work has expanded exposure to a Chicano aesthetic.
2. Provide information that describes how long the nominee(s) has been performing or supporting the musical form.
3. Describe in detail how their musical work has been at a high standard of excellence and quality. 

A List of Previous Chicano Music Hall of Fame Inductees:

Paco Sanchez
Eva Nuanez

Anita & Skelly Garcia
The Gonzales Family
Alfred Terrones

Victor Cardenas
Tony Falcon
Raymond Lucero
Danny Silva

James “Chico” Martinez
Tim Garcia & Luisa Mendoza
Filbert & Maria Oralia Trujillo

Levi & Carmen Beall
Phil Marin
Elva Valdez
Guadalupe Vargas

Agnes Romero
Henry Salas
John Segura

Victor Hernandez
Juanita & Emilio Dominguez

Dr. Lorenzo Trujillo
Cancion Mexicana
David Gallegos & Paul Chavez

Los Alvarados
Freddie Rodriguez

Alex Anaya
Miguel Espinoza

Rene Heredia
Greg Montaño
Augustine Trujillo

Raul and Silvia Vasquez
Dr. Brenda Romero
Esequiel “Zeke” De Leon

The Mood Express
Debra Gallegos and Yolanda Ortega
Indian Nickel Band
Francisco Coca and Family

Jimmy Trujillo
Manuel Roybal Sr.
Rick Garcia Band
Michelle Hernandez-Abeyta
Mariachi de San Luis

5 Diamonds
Maxine Medina Delgado
Mitch Garcia
Phil Trujillo
Daniel Valdez

Conjunto Colores
Robert “Rabbit” Jaramillo
Rafael “Raf” Lopez
Johnny “Ritmo” Rodriguez y Los Diamantes
Cristela Garcia

The Chicano Music Festival, July 25 to 29, Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive.
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Jon Solomon writes about music and nightlife for Westword, where he's been the Clubs Editor since 2006.
Contact: Jon Solomon