Joel Guzman & Sarah Fox

Austin, US
Artist / Band / Musician
Latin / Rock / R&B
Guzman Fox Records
Joel Guzman & Sarah Fox

When accordionist Joel Guzman and singer/songwriter Sarah Fox got together in 1978, they dreamed of a future that would allow them to make a living doing something they loved. Though they knew it wouldn't be easy – even Guzman's fieldhand father warned him picking crops was hard, but being a musician was harder – the pair chose to pursue their passion anyway. Over 30 years and a few Grammys later, they're actually living that dream – and loving it. Guzman and Fox's story has an almost Hollywood-like beginning. A third-generation musician born in Sunnyside, Wash., Guzman moved to Texas to play with the famed Tejano band Little Joe y la Familia. Fox, the Temple,Texas-born daughter of a Mexican mother (singer Guadalupe Reyna Castillo) and Cuban father, started singing with Little Joe at 16. After being introduced in a Temple recording studio during a Little Joe session, they fell into a classic band-member-meets-band-singer romance. Since then, they've led many bands of their own, including Motion, a pop act; Human Touch, a contemporary jazz group; Trocadero, a sassy salsa band; Los Aztex, their Tex-Mex/R&B incarnation; and Aztex, a Latin rock outfit that morphed into the creative entity known as Joel Guzman & Sarah Fox.
"After many years of going back to the drawing board, we finally arrived at a concept that complemented my singing style and Joel's cross-genre accordion playing," Fox says of their latest formation. It's not that they can't make up their minds regarding how they want to sound. It's that they're so versatile, with so many influences, they need to explore different avenues from time to time. As Guzman says, "I may play a box, but I don't want to be put in one. "Guzman describes the couple's style as Latin R&B – more specifically, a hybrid of Latin music with American rock and blues. That, of course, is simplifying things a bit. One blogger at called Guzman "probably the best three-row diatonic player in the country," and added, "he can play anything from traditional conjunto to jazz." And beyond. Guzman actually intended to become a jazz pianist and music arranger, studying with a private teacher after deciding the University of Washington at Seattle was just a distraction from his career plan. By then, the child accordion prodigy known as "El Pequeno Gigante" (the Little Giant) had been playing professionally for years. "I already knew where I wanted to go in my life," he explains. "The big stage –playing with big-name artists, recording on important records and composing movie soundtracks.
"Now a sought-after session player, arranger and producer, Guzman's worked with
Joe Ely, Chris Smither, the Flatlanders, Tish Hinajosa, Tom Russell, Wayne Hancock, Rick Trevino, Lloyd Maines and many others. He and Fox have also recorded with Tejano greats Ram Herrera and Ruben Ramos. Fox, who studied music and business at college, recorded her first single, "You Let Me Down," with saxophonist
Joel Guzman & Sarah Fox

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