Mike and Estella Flores are working every day to keep the spirit of tejano music alive – in practice and celebration.
The Flores’ run M&E Productions, a local business that rents out sound and lighting equipment and acts as a full sound production company that runs lighting, back line instruments and sound for tejano bands in South Texas.
“We met on a blind date in January, got engaged in February and we married in November that year,” Estella Flores said. “He stole my heart.”
Estella originally preferred country music, but Mike converted her to tejano. Through their experiences in music and the changing industry, they found it important to keep the tradition of music, unity and celebration of tejano going. Mike recalled how extensive tejano tours used to be when he was playing, and noted that the awareness of the genre has gone down.
“Tejano has always been a part of his life, and in his family because his brother played as well,” Estella Flores said. “It’s been a good ride, and we love it.”
With the help of Freddie and Eva Perez from the Outta Town Dance Hall in Mission, the Flores’ began throwing dances every month where people can buy a ticket and enjoy an evening of live and recorded tejano music, drinking and dancing. Estella is proud of how the dances have grown over the years.
“We do one to two every month, because everyone has enjoyed it thoroughly,” Estella Flores said, adding that they send out dates and information through a mailing list. “From there it took off. Now we have 800 guests, and every dance we bring 10 or 15 new people.”
The dances are for adults and happen on Saturdays, featuring new music, a bar and company. Stella can be contacted about attending the dance via phone at (956) 227-5968.
M&E Productions has been going on operating for 15 years now. Mike’s induction to the Tejano Hall of Fame in Alice inspired the pair to head the My Tejano Awards, a non-profit organization that has put on two large awards shows for national and international tejano artists so far. April 19, 2020 will be the 3rd annual event, held at the Mission Event Center.
“We raised money to put on the first show, we had raffles, dances, barbeques, whatever we could do,” Estella Flores said.
Mike has dealt with several health issues and surgeries over the years, and is glad to have Estella, M&E and the My Tejano Awards to keep him energized and focused through it all.
“You know what they say, that if you don’t have support you’re nobody, but there’s strength in numbers,” Mike Flores said. “She’s [Estella] been my rock through it all. I want to keep doing this.”
The My Tejano Awards were designed to highlight the unrecognized talent in the tejano music industry. Board members include the Flores’, Mando San Roman, Balde Munoz and Lalo Reyna.
At the last My Tejano Awards, over 200 tejano artists were in attendance. The Flores’ explained the awards process, and stated that it’s not about popularity, but quality.
“Our motto is keeping tejano alive,” Mike Flores said.
M&E Productions can be contacted at (956) 227-2951, or via email at [email protected]
This article originally appeared in the Friday Sept. 6, 2019 issue of the Progress Times.