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Born and raised in Plainview, a small Texas town north of Lubbock, Gomez’s love for music began in church.
“I actually watched my mom, my dad, my brothers and my sister play in church, and then later on I started performing with my dad in prayer meetings,” Gomez told Chron. “I got my chance to play with a local band when I was about 9 or 10 years old.”
The youngest of six children, Gomez is a singer-songwriter and musician who started honing his accordion skills at just 8 years old. It remains his main instrument more than 30 years later, he said. Gomez is also well-versed in the piano, bajo sexto, drums and bass guitar.
J.R. Gomez grew up playing the piano, drums, bajo sexto, bass guitar and the accordion.
His big break came in 1996 when he joined the popular Tejano band from Pasadena, La Fiebre, at the age of 16. Fans of Tejano music will recall Gomez playing alongside other Tejano legends such as Jay Perez, A.B. Quintanilla III y Los Kumbia Kings All Starz and the late Jimmy González y El Grupo Mazz.
Gomez is seen here performing alongside Tejano singer-songwriter Shelly Lares.
Gomez said his musical inspiration stems from artists like Marc Anthony and Tim McGraw, to name a few , as well as genres such as R&B and country music.
His debut album “Cervezas y Gritos” showcased a traditional Tex-Mex and conjunto style. But it’s the energy and life he gives to each song that brings back fond memories of Tejano hits from the 80s and 90s.
Gomez also won Best New Group of the Year with his band Los Conjunto Bandits at the TMAs in 2020.
In addition to being named the Best New Male Artist at the 40th Annual Tejano Music Awards, Gomez and his band Los Conjunto Bandits also won Best New Group.
“Once they announced the name, it’s just a feeling like…I don’t know, just a feeling like a sigh of relief like you finally did it,” Gomez said. “It’s hard to describe, but I didn’t faint.”
The veteran artist admits the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic did take a toll, and he had to make a few changes to his band members, but he is back touring with his original band and friends of over 15 years.
Band members include drummer Daniel Sandoval, bass player Mike Garcia and bajo sexto player Chris Villarreal, who is related to legendary artist Nick Villarreal, “a real icon in conjunto-cumbia,” Gomez said.
Gomez is pictured here recording in his studio in San Antonio.
Gomez’s next album is scheduled for release in spring of 2021, and he’s already released the first single, “He Tratado De Olvidarte.”
The album title is still a work in progress, Gomez said, but fans can expect a little bit of the old school mixed in with new musical styles.
Gomez and his band Los Conjunto Bandits travel across the country playing concerts and festivals.
“It’s going to be a little bit different, the first album was straight conjunto,” Gomez said. “This album, I’m going to add a little more keyboards just to make it a little more conjunto progressive, adding in some saxophone, more melodic, we’re definitely going to change it up.”