Artists Platnum Achievement

Apodaca, Antonia

Antonia Apodaca ~ Rociada | Las Vegas

Genres: New Mexico traditional & folk music

Antonia Apodaca (November 1, 1923-January 25, 2020) was a beloved icon of New Mexican folk music. She was a musician and songwriter for over 80 years. Her primary instruments were accordion and guitar, along with her passionate voice and treasure chest of traditional music.

From a family of musicians, her mother played the accordion and guitar and her father the guitar, accordion, and violin. At the age of 18, she met her future husband, Macario “Max” Apodaca a fiddler from Carmen, a village near Mora, New Mexico. They settled in Wyoming in 1949 where they lived for 30 years, performing together for both the Hispanic and Anglo communities at dances and local events, and raising five children. They returned to New Mexico in 1979.

Antonia received the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 1992, the same year she appeared at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C.

Apodaca moved to Las Vegas in 2010 after her home in Rociada burned down. She continued to perform with Trio Jalapeño. Their concerts often included her own compositions, including famous and beloved “Estas Lindas Flores” (These Beautiful Flowers). She was awarded the Premio Hilos Culturales in 2011, an annual award presented to folk artists from New Mexico and Colorado “who have distinguished themselves in their communities as folk musicians or folk dancers of traditional southwest styles of Canciones Del Pasado or Bailes Antiguos.” Toni received the New Mexico Music Commission’s Platinum Music Award for lifetime achievement in 2018.

Learn more about Antonia

above: Antonia’s tribute video from the 2018 Platinum Music Awards show at the Lensic. Filmed and edited by Bunee Tomlinson of Windswept Media. Produced by the New Mexico Music Commission Foundation, David Schwartz Executive Producer. To our knowledge, this is the last on camera interview she gave before her passing.

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