Flaco Jiménez smiles on stage. Photo by Amanda Lozano.
Flaco Jiménez smiles on stage during a performance in 2015. Credit: Amanda Lozano for the San Antonio Report

Two broken ribs and a hip aren’t enough too keep Flaco Jiménez, 76, off the stage.

The iconic, grammy-winning accordionist was back in blue to close out Guadalupe Cultural Art Center‘s 34th annual Tejano Conjunto Festival at Rosedale Park Sunday night.

This was Jiménez’s first public performance after the fall that broke two of his ribs and a hip in mid-March.

It has become a tradition for Jiménez to play the last show of the festival, and he wasn’t about to miss this one.

He missed prior scheduled appearances with the Texas Tornadoes at South By Southwest in Austin and the Doug Sahm tribute concert at the Paramount Theatre due to the injuries. Many speculated he would never play accordion again.

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As we was escorted by police and friends to and from the venue, Jiménez seemed a bit tired, but still in good spirits as fans flocked around to take pictures or catch a glimpse of the legend. Many came from across the nation, including a fan from Fresno, Calif.

Once Flaco hit the stage, all fatigue wore off as he mesmerized the crowd, his fingers deftly glided over the buttons of his accordion as he played traditional classics and a twist on country and rock songs. It seemed as if he had never fallen at all.

“I feel like this is the first time I’ve ever performed,” Jiménez said, joking with the crowd. “After all these years, this is the highlight of my life.”

He thanked the audience for the support and love they’ve demonstrated.

Jiménez’s speedy recovery wouldn’t have been possible without the loving support of his family, he said, who shared the same pride as the push-box icon as he strutted his stuff on stage.

“We offered so much support after the physical therapy. We were always talking to him, encouraging him. He had to help himself out,” Fred Jiménez said. “We are so grateful for them for the amount of love they have given throughout the years. I think it was the music that made him want to get better so fast. He wanted to be here for his fans.”

*Featured/top image: Flaco Jiménez smiles on stage. Photo by Amanda Lozano.

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Amanda Lozano is the editor-in-chief of Texas A&M University-San Antonio's student-run publication, The Mesquite. When she's not writing, she plays mariachi all over town.