Valley accordionists take top prizes in annual Big Squeeze

Left: Johnny Joe Gutierrez is seen with his accordion Wednesday. Right: Ashly Nicole Molina with her accordion Sunday, May 1. (Photos by Delcia Lopez | | ©All Images Copyrighted)

Local accordionists Ashly Nicole Molina and Johnny Joe Gutierrez won their respective age groups in the conjunto competition of the Big Squeeze contest Saturday. Molina competed in the younger category and Gutierrez was in the 17 and older category, winning the top prize after four tries.

They’re two of four Rio Grande Valley accordionists who participated in Saturday’s competition — held by Texas Folklife and streamed on Facebook — and showcased the region’s prowess in arts and musicianship as demonstrated almost annually.

To read more about Ashly Nicole Molina and Johnny Joe Gutierrez, as well as Roberto Flores and Galilea Paz — the two other Valley accordionists who participated in the competition — check out the story below: 

Main squeeze: Valley accordionists head to the finals in 15th annual competition