2007 Florida Folk Heritage Award
Norteño music is named for its origin in northern Mexico. At the heart of this colorful style is the diatonic button accordion. Tomás E. Granado of Webster is recognized throughout Florida as a master norteño accordionist and serves as a tireless advocate for Mexican-American culture. He began to play the accordion when he was 11, and by 1970 formed a band, or conjunto, in Homestead to play for community dances, quinceañearas, Mother's Day serenades, and cultural celebrations throughout southern Florida. He taught button accordion through the Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Program in 1992, and continues to teach those who seek his expertise. Since moving from Homestead to Webster, Florida, in 1998, he continues to play in a variety of contexts and helps organize Cinco de Mayo celebrations and other events. One of the few accordion repairmen in Florida, Latin American musicians throughout the state rely upon Granado to keep their instruments functioning and in tune.