The Caliente Column

Conjunto Primavera: Censurado
By Doug Shannon (

Conjunto Primavera was founded in 1978, on the first day of spring (hence
the name), and 18 years later the six-man group from Ojinaga, Chihuahua,
appears to be in the springtime of its career.

The group received its first gold album in 1995 for "Me Nortie," their
first release on the TEMERARIOS-owned label AFG Sigma. Primavera's second
album for AFG Sigma, "Amigo Mesero," is nearing gold, having sold over
40,000 units according to the label.

Their single "Partiendome El Alma" finished 1995 among the top 20
norten~o songs of Antenna Magazine's year-end chart.

They have also appeared in two movies, "La Rafaga" and "El Ropa Viajero."

Felix Contreras, the accordionist and keyboardist, said he's a little bit
surprised by the group's sudden success.

"It has surprised us because when we were signed to Joey Records, there
were many songs that could have been hits but weren't," he said.

"Thank God we signed with AFG Sigma Records, and that we recorded 'Me
Nortie and 'Amigo Mesero.'"

Their 22nd album, "Censurado," will be in stores on April 2, 1996.
It is composed entirely of corridos, according to bajosexto player
Rolando Perez. One of the corridos was composed by bass player Oscar
Ochoa; the rest are remakes of classic corridos like "Joaquin Murrieta."
Two of the corridos will be to a waltz beat; the others will be rancheras.

Contreras is quick to point out that the CD titled "1996" that was just
released on Joey Records contains old material.

"We recorded it a long time ago, at about the same time we decided to
stop recording for Joey Records," he said.

For any group that spends long hours on the highway, touring from place
to place can be stressful--even when the members are the best of friends.
But Perez said the members know how to pass the hours.

"We talk a lot, we joke around, maybe watch a movie. There is a lot of
conviviality between us when we're traveling," he said.

Occasionally fate steps in and gives their life a little surprise,
Contreras said.

"Once we were going to play in Belisario Dominguez, Coahuila, a little
town near the capital. When it was time to start, and we went to the
bus to get our instruments, we found that our sax, our bajosexto, and
our accordion had been stolen," he said.

"We told the engineer to stop the entire show. Then we went to the city of
Durango to borrow instruments from some friends so we could finish the
show and please the crowd, who understood the situation we were in."

Later they recovered the accordion, but to this day he has no idea where
the sax and bajosexto might be.

The group is scheduled to tour with Los Temerarios beginning in early April.

In addition to Contreras and Perez, Conjunto Primavera is Tony Melendez,
singer; Juan Dominguez, sax and director; Oscar Ochoa, electric bass; and
Adan Huerta, drums.