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they were part of “the most poignant moment of all the country’s ceremonies.” In Spanish, the consul asked the crowd, which now numbered about 1,000, to stand, and nearly everyone immediately rose to their feet. They echoed most of the chants tepidly, but “Viva Mexico!” animated the audience a bit. Zeurteche then introduced the cheerleaders, who gave a quick wave before returning to autograph purgatory in their tent. Zeurteche may have picked the right Saturday for his tasting event, but economics interfered. With the oil boom, restaurants are having trouble filling positions. A stand selling fajitas, along with the traditional Texas festival fare of giant turkey legs, seemed one of the few concessions left from the original concept. Since Zeurteche found few takers for the taste-off, he turned it into a music festival. This year, Zeurteche wanted to make a statement, bring in a national act, one that would bridge cultures with crossover appeal. He knew he’d be taking a chance. He describes area audiences as “finicky.” His ideal audience is still elusive in Midland-OdessaMexican-Americans with a foot in each culture and a willingness to experiment musically with what that means. “Country is what works out here,” he said when reached by telephone a week later. “Tejano works, and regional Mexican works. You try to do blues and rock and R&B, it’s a little bit of a risk.” Corporate radio hasn’t helped. “You can’t find any Tejano stations,” Zeurteche said. “It’s a segment that lacks identity. It’s hard for [them] to really associate with anything 100 percent. The group is assimilated enough to listen to general market and look at non-Spanish television stations, but with regard to the Hispanic roots, there is not a whole lot here to really ground the segment, to link them together.” Zeurteche decided to book the ultimate multi-genre band, the powerhouse from East Los Angeles, Los Lobos. Forged in 1973 at a time when brown power meant more than numbers, Los Lobos, along with groups like the Texas Tornados and Santana, have been at the forefront of creating a new American idiom of rock and roll, Latin-style. But to Zeurteche’s disappointment, the audience didn’t come. No matter that the night was starry and temperate and the tickets only $9. He estimates the crowd at several thousand. Zeurteche fears that the lack of Tejano music scared away a potential audience, or maybe his ideal listeners simply haven’t reached their demographic maturity yet. Nonetheless, he remains optimistic. “I think today people are probably saying, ‘We missed Los Lobos,” he said. “They are going to be reluctant to continue passing on these opportunities in the future.” Los Lobos pulled up to the stage in a stretch white limousine SUV provided by Zeurteche. The two local bands the pro moter had booked to open for them had been a mixed bag. The front man from the first, Los America, had candidly told the audience, “I just want to remind you that the more you drink, the better we sound.” Unfortunately, the event didn’t serve anything harder than beer. The second band, Brothers Z, featured Zuerteche himself playing guitar. Brothers Z performed covers Mariachi Cisne