Flaco Jiménez is in his seventh decade as a performer. He's played with Ry Cooder, Dwight Yoakam, and even The Rolling Stones. Jiménez's newest album, Legends & Legacies, is a collection of songs that illustrate the legacy of the Latin music style for which he is so well known: conjunto.
Felix Contreras, the co-host of NPR Music's Alt.Latino, recently guided NPR's Renee Montagne through the history of conjunto, which starts and ends with the accordion.
"The accordion player is like a jazz musician: He improvises in between verses and during the song. And Flaco Jiménez is a master," Contreras says.
Hear more of their conversation, including how collaborator Max Baca matches Jimenez' playing with touches of bluegrass guitar, at the audio link.