Little Joe Y La Familia

Little Joe Y La Familia
Austin, Texas

José María De León Hernández, better known as “Little Joe” of Little Joe Y La Familia, first started his Tejano music career with his cousin David Coronado in a group called David Coronado & The Latinaires. As the years went on, Little Joe would later take over the group and rename it Little Joe Y La Familia, meaning “Little Joe and the family,” as his cultural values of family unity gained more prominence in his music.

There was little space on the dance floor as Little Joe Y La Familia took over Antone’s Wednesday evening. Little Joe did well to keep an audience awake and active by incorporating as much enthusiasm into his songs as possible with the occasional grito (a Mexican celebratory call like “yahoo”) and connecting with his audience in English between his songs. Most of the songs performed included popular themes such as personal struggles within songs like “Cartas Marcadas.” The music was characterized by the controlled sound of orchestral instruments, which offered a more traditional and well-rounded Tejano sound when accompanied by the various guitarists, drums and synthesizer.

Little Joe has been recognized as a two-time Grammy award winner, first in 1992 with the album Diez y Seis de Septiembre for best Mexican-American performance and again in 2008 with the album Before the Next Teardrop Falls for best Tejano album of the year. Today, Little Joe is still performing at various venues across the U.S., breaking down barriers and delivering messages of peace, love and harmony to his fans across the world.

by Michelle Marie Garcia