The legendary Antonia Apodaca, who turns 90 on Nov. 1, is known for a lifetime of performances of traditional songs and dances of northern New Mexico. She sings, plays accordion and guitar.
José Apodaca is a professional singer well-known for his roles in zarzuelas, which are Spanish light operas. He’s also a music teacher in the Albuquerque Public Schools.
“She’s indefatigable. She never tires. She’s just very, very full of energy,” Apodaca said of his mother.
“She does gigs all over. In Alamosa, Colo., she got an award for her contributions to music. She does her usual openings at the Santa Fe Spanish Market and the Santa Fe Farmers Market.”
Mother and son will be on stage Sunday, Oct. 13 in Albuquerque for a rare public performance together. They’ll be in concert in the Walk the Walk Series, which features many strands of music of New Mexico.
When he and his mother perform together, it’s usually at family gatherings, José Apodaca said.
“So this concert will be real special,” he noted.
Most of the program, he said, “will feature my mother and I will be singing some songs along with her.”
“And I’ll also be singing a mix of boleros and some Mexican folk songs. She’ll be accompanying me on guitar or accordion on the folk songs,” he said.
The boleros include “Besame Mucho” and “Solamente Una Vez” and among the folk songs are “Cielito Lindo” and “La Paloma.”
Scott and Linda Mathis will back José Apodaca on the boleros and Antonia Apodaca on her presentation of traditional songs and dances.
Antonia Apodaca was a longtime resident of Rociada. She moved to Las Vegas, N.M., after her home burned down.